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Weekend Round-Up – Week 16

Enrico Gasparotto takes historic win for BBB in the Amstel Gold Race

One of the most important classic in the hills is without a doubt the Amstel Gold Race in the southern parts of The Netherlands. This one day race full of historical battles on the infamous Cauberg is typically decided in the last 10 kilometres, after a hard day battling through the steep short hills of the Dutch province of Limburg.

Notorious challenges are the Keutenberg with a steep section of 21%, the Vaalserberg a slightly longer climb and the extremely tough Gulpenerberg. Besides those hills ‘The Amstel’ is known for the constant turning and short returning loops around the finishtown of Valkenburg. Allthough this hilly part of The Netherlands is small, the race still holds 250 kilometres of roads that are never flat.

Yesterday it was a typical Amstel Gold Race again. A small group of 11 in the breakaway of the day with two riders of our sponsored teams in this elite group. Tom Devriendt of Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Kevin Reza of FDJ were riding a big part of the day in the spotlights. But with the final coming up these riders were overtaken by the small peloton that was swept by huge thunderstorms earlier on. A lot of riders were covered in mud and the muscles had to deal with sudden drop in temperatures. Only the strongest were left over and with nearly 7 km to go it was the young Belgian rider Tim Wellens who tried to escape the peloton to ride solo to the finish line. He came a long way, but on the horrific steep Cauberg it was Enrico ‘Gaspa’ Gasparotto who was able to counterattack and ride to the finish with another strong Tinkoff rider, the Danish bloke Michael Valgren. In a classic sprint-a-deux it was the experienced Italian who took his second Amstel victory and the first big classic for Wanty. It was also the first victory for BBB Cycling in this Dutch World Tour classic.

The victory of Gaspa was emotionally charged because of the accident of team mate Antoine Demoitié a few weeks prior to the Amstel. “This victory is for the family of Antoine. Today I had an angel on my shoulder and I gave everything for him”, explains Gaspa after finishing.

Brentjens MTB Racing team’s road to Rio

On the road to the biggest goal for the mountainbike team of Bart Brentjens, the Olympics in Rio, there was a new success last weekend. Youngster Yana Belomoina took a decent podium spot on her race at the Trofeo Delcar where she became third. Rudi van Houts was present at the same race, where he was able to continue to work on his form level, resulting in a 14th place. On the Twitterfeed of the Team NL he showed followers what his week looked like (Twitter.com/TeamNLtweets), prior to this Italian race. We see some nice images from inside the mountainbike racing scene. This channel features several Dutch athletes who are preparing themselves for the road to the Olympics in Rio. Take a look for instance at the special stretch exercises which are performed by Rudi and the delicious pizza he was having in good company of Hans Becking and soigneur Rudy. Not a bad life after all, riding tough races around the world.

Yana Belomoina finishing third in the Trofeo Delcar.

Rudi van Houts with his teammate and soigneur doing it the classic Italian way.

Prior to the start it’s time for some oatmeal. This is a champions breakfast!

Backyard session

The other BBB mountainbike legend who was active last weekend took out his son on the slopes in his backyard. Joost Wichman raises his little son the way we like it! Already a winner at this age, this seems to be a future BBB mountainbike champion.

It’s Monday, the race is on 🙂 #littleracers #pumptrack #balancebike #mick

Een video die is geplaatst door Joost Wichman (@joostwichman) op