On Sunday Wanty-Groupe Gobert heads to Maastricht for the start of Amstel Gold Race (1.WT, 16/04), one year after the glorious victory of Enrico Gasparotto. The organisation adapted the final of the race, with an unchanged finish but without the Cauberg climb at the end. Hilaire Van der Schueren selected following riders to defend the title: Jérôme Baugnies, Thomas Degand, Guillaume Martin, Xandro Meurisse, Marco Minnaard, Andrea Pasqualon, Dion Smith and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. Impressions of sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren.
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
"Last year we obtained a great victory in Amstel. But we have to recognize that was an exceptional day. We only experience events like that one once in a lifetime. I see Amstel Gold Race this year more as a preparation for the Ardennes classics."
"The new final brings a lot of changes to the race. The organisation hopes to provoke a more open race. What will happen on Sunday is difficult to foresee. I think many teams will want to arrive with a big group, but we saw on Wednesday in Brabantse Pijl that isn't easy to obtain. I prefer not to reveal too much, we will do what we can to score. Dion Smith is a fast finisher, but we have to see what he can do after 260 kilometers of racing."