Katarzyna Niewiadoma dropped her competitors on the final climb of Cauberg to win the Amstel Gold Race Ladies in the Limburg region of the Netherlands on Sunday. It was the Pole’s first WorldTour win of the season. The Canyon-SRAM rider was third in the series opener, Strade Bianche.
— UCI_WWT (@UCI_WWT) April 21, 2019
The women had 19 bergs to climb in 127 km. Ten climbs on one big circuit led to three smaller loops of 17.9-km, each containing the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg, with the finish line 1.8 km from the top of the final Cauberg passage.
An early breakaway of seven skipped up the road and pulled out a gap of 2:00 by the second climb of the day. Both the breakaway and the peloton split on the many bergs. A favourites group dashed away from the peloton on Climb 9.
#AGRWomen 🇳🇱 The race has burst into life! 💥
— Mitchelton-SCOTT (@MitcheltonSCOTT) April 21, 2019
With 66-km to go and on the Keutenberg, the strong chase group was only 1:00 in arrears of the remaining five fugitives. Just after the first climb of the Cauberg, the break was caught.
Lizzie Deignan, back in her first race since maternity leave, attacked on the second passage of the Cauberg. Behind her, the peloton reformed itself back to 50 riders. Annemeik van Vleuten did a lot of the work to bring back the Brit.
On the Geulhemmerberg with 35-km to go Amanda Spratt got away with Katie Hall–resplendent in Boels-Dolman’s pink “change kit”–and Elisa Longo Borghini. Seventeen chasers were weakened with Lucinda Brand crashed.
On Cauberg 3, Niewiadoma bridged over to the trio in front.
⏱ 30 secs
Gooooooo Elisa!!!! pic.twitter.com/b8GbZpawuT
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) April 21, 2019
The quartet had a 20-second lead over seven chasers entering the bell lap. Work from Marianne Vos helped to close the fugitives down. Longo Borghini then made a move. Before the final passage of Cauberg, Spratt and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio had bridged to the Italian.
On the last trip up Cauberg, Niewiadoma attacked and Vos was able to follow for a while, but then dropped away. Jackson was one of the riders who tried to run down the Pole.
— Mike Marino (@BikeMarino) April 21, 2019
The closest who came to bringing her back was van Vleuten, the runner-up. Van Vleuten was second in the last WorldTour race, the Tour of Flanders, and won Strade Bianche. Vos rounded out the podium. Leah Kirchmann finished 29th.
2019 Amstel Gold Race Ladies
1) Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland/Canyon-SRAM) 3:35:48
2) Annemiek van Vleuten (The Netherlands/Mitchelton-Scott) s.t.
3) Marianne Vos (The Netherlands/CCC-Liv) +0:10
9) Alison Jackson (Canada/Tibco-SVB) +0:30
29) Leah Kirchmann (Canada/Sunweb) +5:04