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Giant-Shimano: Amstel Preview
logogiantshimano This Sunday sees the Ardennes classics start in earnest with the one-day ‘monument’ Amstel Gold Race in Limburg – arguably the cycling hub of the Netherlands.

The best result the team has taken here over the past few years is 18th – 2013, Simon Geschke (GER) – and after a strong few months of racing and with a team with different cards to play they have the tools they need to keep challenging their progression here.

The line-up for the race is: Roy Curvers (NED), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Simon Geschke (GER), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Koen De Kort (NED) and Albert Timmer (NED).

Here’s what some of the riders had to say ahead of Sunday:

Dries Devenyns (BEL)
“I like Amstel Gold Race and have gone well here in the past – 14th in 2012. I hope that I can make up for Wednesday at Brabantse Pijl where I made the mistake of not drinking enough early on and started to cramp with 40km to go.

“Sunday will be the final race of the classics for me so I hope that I can finish on a strong ride. We have a strong team here for this race and if we ride to our strengths we are capable of a good result.”

Tom Dumoulin (NED)
“I’m feeling really good and can’t wait for Sunday’s race. I am coming to Amstel Gold Race off the back of a hard week at Pais Vasco, but this was the perfect preparation to get me ready.

“I can see the benefits of the way the team works – working closely with the coaches and experts along with the support from the team. I’m looking forward to putting this into practice and making another step in my development in a race that means a lot to me.

“Amstel Gold is really special for me as it is my home race. I have always lived in Maastricht and have lost count of the number of times I have been up the Cauberg. The parcours really suits me and I am looking forward to racing there.”

Simon Geschke (GER)
“Amstel Gold is one of my favourite races so I am aiming for a good result. I hope a top 10 is realistic and we have the team to be able to achieve this.

“The new finish last year showed that the race is more tactically open and this makes it more interesting for us as we have different cards to play which should work to our advantage.

“I was pleased with fourth place on Wednesday in Brabantse Pijl. I’ve had a good built up to this important part of the season – together with the coaches we have changed my program compared to previous years and so far it is paying off so I feel confident for Sunday.”

Aike Visbeek (NED)
“After a successful campaign in Flanders and on the cobbles including two victories we now head to the Ardennes classics and for Amstel Gold Race we are aiming for a top 10, something we haven’t achieved here before.

“The team leaders for this race will be Dries Devenyns, Tom Dumoulin and Simon Geschke, with Tom riding through his home roads. With Dries and Tom we have an offensive focus for the final and then Simon is capable of moving with the strong riders on the final sprint up the Cauberg.

“Together with Roy Curvers as captain, and strong support, we will focus on positioning before the important climbs to save energy for an offensive final where we are more focused on a result this year than before here.”


 

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