— Canadian Ryder Hesjedal
rode his Felt F1 SL
to an impressive second-place finish at the 257-kilometer Amstel Gold Race
, the first of the three Ardennes Classics, on Sunday. It was the Garmin-Transitions
rider’s top finish ever at a Classic and the latest in a string of breakthrough performances that included his first grand tour stage victory in Spain last summer.
Hesjedal, 30, put in a gritty performance, powering over Amstel’s 31 categorized climb and coming into the final climb, the famous Cauberg, with a small group of the world’s best Classics racers. Only Belgian Philippe Gilberg could outkick Hesjedal in the closing meters, as he sprinted past third-place finisher Enrico Gasparotto to take the second step of the podium. 45TH AMSTEL GOLD RACE
Maastricht-Valkenburg. April 18.
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Omega-Pharma-Lotto, 6:22:542. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Garmin-Transitions, at 0:02
3. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita), Astana, same time
4. Bert De Waele (Bel), Landbouwkrediet, at 0:05
5. Roman Kreuzinger (Cze), Liquigas-Doimo, same time