Roman Kreuziger wins Amstel Gold Race
The Hague: Roman Kreuziger was the surprise winner in the 48th edition of the Dutch cycling classic Amstel Gold Race.
The 26-year-old Czech of the Saxo-Tinkoff team passed the finish alone after 251 km through the province of Limburg.
Spaniard Alejandro Valverde came second, 22 seconds ahead of Simon Gerrans (Orica) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), who won the race in 2010 and 2011.
Around 35 km from the finish Dutch rider Pieter Weening (Orica) escaped from the peloton and later he was joined by among others Kreuziger. With 17 km remaining, they passed the last rider of an early breakaway group, Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel).
Kreuziger jumped away in the final phase of the race and started the last climb of the Cauberg alone. The group with favourites like Gilbert and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) acted too late. The Saxo rider remained paramount and after the long ride with start in Maastricht and finish in Vilt he became the first winner of the Amstel Gold Race from the Czech Republic.