Amstel Gold Race: Michal Kwiatkowski wins the photo finish ahead of Benoît Cosnefroy

Bernard Hinault almost knew his successor. Out on the Geulhemmerberg chasing Michal Kwiatkowski, Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën) thought he would become the third Frenchman to win the Amstel. But like last year, the photo finish played a big role again, this time in favor of the INEOS Grenadiers runner. Victorious in the sprint thanks to a better bike throw, Kwiatkowski offers himself his second crowning glory on the Dutch classic after acquiring it in 2015, dedicating a great team race to the British lineup. Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) completes the podium.

INEOS has run its business perfectly

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Everyone has been waiting for Mathieu van der Poel, but it’s another former winner rediscovering the joys of success in the Amstel Gold Race. Michal Kwiatkowski, a true specialist in the event who is not always free to play his card during the season, long appeared to be Thomas Pidcock’s luxury lieutenant this Sunday. After Ben Turner’s monstrous job, it was he who blew up the peloton on the terrible slopes (22%) of Keutenberg, imposing a tremendous pace that even got the big favorite Mathieu Van der Poel in trouble, isolated for long kilometers afterwards the hard work of his team Alpecin-Fenix ​​​​​​to control the race behind a breakaway that never counted more than 5 minutes in advance.

At the top, with 33km to go, only eleven were left to dream of victory: Küng (Groupama-FDJ), Teuns (Bahrain-Victorious), Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), Asgreen (QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl), Hirschi (UAE Emirates), the surprising Kamp (Trek-Segafredo), Van der Poel, Cosnefroy, Benoot and thus Pidcock and Kwiatkowski. Exploiting their overcrowding, the two INEOS grenadiers then multiplied their attempts to isolate themselves at the front of the race and it was finally the Pole who managed to get a good exit after the final climb du Cauberg, 22km and cross the finish line from the finish.

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The group of favorites was clueless, but Benoit Cosnefroy quickly sensed the danger and the Frenchman, after a shock in a curve that was too wide, made a quick start back to Kwiatkowski with a lightning start on the Geulhemmerberg. The two men worked together immediately, taking advantage of a lack of cohesion and Pidcock’s undermining at the back to create a lead of more than 30 inches. Van der Poel tried to repeat the 2019 blow in the final by scoring two great accelerations, but it was far too late, far too far, victory could no longer elude the two men, it remained to be seen who achieved 56th place. Edition would win, the French or the Pole.

Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën) and Michal Kwiatkowski at the 2022 Amstel Gold Race.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Slower on paper, Cosnefroy tried to catch Kwiatkowski with a throw from distance but the Pole knows this final too well to be fooled. He waited until the last moment to try and pass the Frenchman on the line, who was also guilty of not throwing his bike well enough to have any hope of victory. Bernard Hinault has yet to wait for a Frenchman to follow him up the list of winners, but the AG2R Citroën driver is still the first Frenchman to stand on the Amstel podium since… Hinault’s victory in 1981. little consolation.

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