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- - Gilbert led the chase of Freire but faded in the closing stages. Peter Sagan looked like he was going to take the victory as the Spaniard was caught in the final 100m but Gasparotto, the former Italian champion who rides for Astana, came around the other side to win ahead of Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) with the Slovak third.
0km - ENRICO GASPAROTTO TAKES A SHOCK VICTORY!
0.5km - Gilbert is leading the charge, tracked by Iglinsky. They catch Terpstra...now just Freire.
1km - 1200m of climbing to come. Freire from Terpstra and then a bunch of around 35 riders.
2km - Niki Terpstra has a dig, just before the foot of the Cauberg. He can see Freire.
4km - Triple world champion Freire has an advantage of 12 seconds.
6km - Maybe around 40 riders in the main bunch on the run-in to the Cauberg. Now Oscar Freire tries to get a jump on the group before the final climb.
8km - Bardet's brave solo bid comes to an end as Thomas Voeckler hits the front, tracked by Sagan.
10km - Boasson Hagen caught on the Keutenberg as Greg Van Avermaet continues to set the pace with Gilbert on his wheel. Bardet leads the race on his own.
13km - Sagan and Valverde amongst those waiting to pounce as they sit behind Gilbert as Edvald Boasson Hagen goes off alone on the approach to the Keutenberg.
15km - BMC on the front on the Fromberg as Robert Gesink is dropped. Bardet and Howes are a mere 15 seconds ahead. This one will explode on the final two climbs.
18km - Sanchez is trying to work his way back up to the group on the Eyserbosweg. None of the leading contenders were prepared to make a move on that climb. The peloton is around 50 strong.
20km - BMC at the front on the Kruisberg with Greg Van Avermaet and Gilbert in his wheel, tracked by Gerrans. Bardet and Howes still hanging out in front as riders drop off the back of the bunch as the speed cranks up. Those riders include Samuel Sanchez and Jurgen Van den Broeck.
25km - Maxim Iglinsky was part of a speculative counter-attack that was soon reeled back in by the very large peloton. Bardet and Howes have left the remnants of the escape group on the Gulperberg. Meanwhile Wout Poels has abandoned.
30km - Kreder and Delfosse have rejoined the leaders after losing contact on the Loorberg climb. The six remaining ascents are the Gulperberg - 700m with average gradient of 8.1%; Kruisberg - 800m @ 7.5%; Eyserbosweg - 1100m @ 8.1%; Fromberg - 1600m @ 4%; Keutenberg - 700m @ 9.4; Cauberg - 1200m @ 5.8m
35km - The escape group has split. Barder, Bilbao, Howes and Stortoni remain out ahead but their lead is down to 1:30.
40km - Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) won Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday with a gutsy solo attack. Can he follow Gilbert's example with a Brabantse-Amstel double? 2:25 is the gap to the nine leaders as they commence climb number 24, the 800m Wolfsberg.
45km - Jurgen Van den Broeck crashed on climb number 23, the Bemelerberg. The Belgian has been helped back into the bunch by two team-mates. But Matti Breschel has also abandoned. The leaders have three minutes advantage over the peloton.
50km - Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) was third behind Gilbert and Rodriguez in 2011 and is having the best year of his career with wins in the Tour Down Under and Milan-San Remo.
55km - On the final loop now with all the favourites poised. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) was second last year and was the bookies' favourite after winning an undulating stage in Tirreno-Adriatico and two stages in the Tour of the Basque Country.
60km - Johnny Hoogerland has just gone to retrieve some food and drinks from the Vacansoleil car. The Dutchman missed Brabantse Pijl through illness but this parcours could suit his style.
65km - Katusha rider Angel Vicioso lead the pack on the Cauberg. Greg Van Avermaet, Andy Schleck and Sebastien Chavanel were also prominent but CADEL EVANS HAS ABANDONED. No news on why.
70km - Join David Harmon and Sean Kelly for live coverage now on British Eurosport and you can watch it all online or on your mobile or tablet via the Eurosport Player. Watch on the Eurosport Player
75km - The second ascent of the Cauberg has seen the peloton split and they trail the leaders by 4:40 with the pace really starting to heat up.
80km - A union dispute was threatening the race with Dutch police planning strikes in the hope of securing more compensation for the country's police officers. Luckily that threat was averted.
85km - Katusha, RadioShack and BMC still working on the front, the gap is now 5:30 with 12 of the 31 climbs yet to come.
90km - After four hours, the race speed is an 39 km/h.
95km - The nine leaders have now seen their advantage slashed to 6:30.
100km - Last year's top 10: 1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto in 6-30-44 /// 2. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha @ 2 secs /// 3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky @ 4 secs /// 4. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek @ 5 secs /// 5. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha same time /// 6. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank same time /// 7. Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM @ 7 secs /// 8. Ben Hermans (Bel) Radioshack @ 18 secs /// 9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank @ 19 secs /// 10. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank @ 26 secs
105km - Nibali missed the cobbled classics after finishing third in Milan-Sanremo. The 2010 Vuelta a Espana winner claimed the overall at Tirreno-Adriatico in March and said: "I feel good. I’ve been working in the mountains to keep up my condition from the Tirreno and the desire to win the first Classic of my career is massive. I'll be joining the battle with the main contenders, conscious of the fact that I’ve got a team-mate like Sagan in the squad who is also a favourite: we’ll join forces."
110km - The Liquigas Cannondale duo of Peter Sagan and Vinceno Nibali are highly fancied today. Sagan was only 98th last year but fourth place in Milan-Sanremo and fifth in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen give him confidence despite a midweek crash. "I’m in good condition; I just hope my injuries from the fall in last Wednesday's Brabantse don't bother me too much: the bruises have gone but the scratches are still a bit sore, especially the ones on my back and thigh," the Slovak said.
115km - RadioShack-Nissan and Katusha continue to work in pursuit of Barbet, Bilbao, Pineau, Kreder, Howes, Stortoni, Caethoven, Delfosse and Lietar.
120km - Evans’ time trial victory and overall success in the Criterium International show his form while Van Avermaet was fourth in the Ronde van Vlaanderen and fifth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and Brabantse Pijl. “I feel pretty good. I was already going well at the beginning of the season, and I am happy with my Classic races so far," he said.
125km - BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue is upbeat about his team's chances with Gilbert, Cadel Evans and Belgium’s Greg Van Avermaet. "It is a pretty good team which will be there to help the three leaders. We have riders who can protect the leaders in preparation of some of the climbs, and also people who have the experience to be in the final. That is always our objective, we want to have a key role in the final of the race. We are looking for a good result for Amstel," he said.
130km - One man not in the peloton today is Filippo Pozzato who was forced to withdraw before the race due to a knee injury. "This (Saturday) morning Pozzato has tried to train for three and a half hours, but the pain and discomfort in the knee are such as to prevent him from riding and to train properly, at least for another few days,” explained team doctor Daniele Tarsi.
135km - The advantage of the escapees has been reduced to 11:30.
140km - Jan Raas has five victories in the race (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982) while Eddy Merckx, Gerrie Knetemann, Rolf Järmann and Gilbert with two, are the only other multiple winners. Historical Stats
145km - The Amstel Gold Race has never started in Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht. The finish was moved to Maastricht from 1992 and after 1998 the race also started there.
150km - This is the 47th Amstel Gold, the first race, on April 30, 1966, was organised by two Dutch sports promoters, Ton Vissers and Herman Krott, who together ran a company called Inter Sport. The plan was to start from Amsterdam and follow a 280km loop round the east of the country before finishing in Maastricht but due to logistical problems, which had placed the race in jeopardy, it commenced in Breda and was won by France's Jean Stablinski.
155km - Alejandro Valverde has already had considerable success so far this season. "Last year Philippe Gilbert was clearly the best rider in the world. I expect a battle so it will be feast for the spectators," Valverde, who was third in the 2008 Amstel, said.
160km - The winner in 2008, Damiano Cunego, is again in the running. Cunego: "This year I'm going to give my best in the Ardennes and in the Amstel Gold Race," said the experienced Italian Lampre-ISD rider.
165km - Always a lot of pressure on Rabobank in their home race and Robert Gesink is competing, having fully recovered from his broken leg, sustained in a fall in September last year. "I’m aiming to improve on my position from last year." promises the 25-year-old who finished the 2011 race in ninth place, crossing the line 19 seconds behind winner Philippe Gilbert.
170km - The winner of the Amstel Gold Race will get 80 points for the UCI World Tour rankings and a win bonus of €16,000 so no threat to the absent Tom Boonen. UCI STANDINGS
175km - After two hours the average speed was 42 kmh. Radiowhack have come to the front with the leading nine now 13 minutes ahead.
180km - The lead for the nine escapees has now gone out to nine minutes.
185km - Not among the BMC team's eight riders for the 47th edition of the race is Steve Cummings, who learned his left wrist was fractured in a crash during a rainy stage of Vuelta al Pais Vasco on April 6. Chief Medical Officer Max Testa said: "There may be two fractures of different bones. For now, one fracture is confirmed and an additional X-ray is being done to determine how long he is out. We do know he'll start training with a cast on it in the next five days."
190km - They have opened up a lead of 5:45 as they head towards the Cauberg for the first time.
195km - A host of early escape attempts failed but now nine riders have escaped: Romain Bardet (AG2R), Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel), Michel Kreder (Garmin), Alex Howes (Garmin), Steven Caethoven (Accent Jobs), Cedric Pineau (FDJ), Simone Stortoni (Lampre), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet), Delfosse and Eliot Lietar (Topsport Vlaanderen).
200km - Not a great day in Limburg, rain, wind and temperatures of around eight degrees will sort out the men from the boys.
205km - This opening Ardennes Classic has narrow, twisting roads which make a place at the head of the peloton vital and many of the same roads will make up the course for the World Championships in September.
210km - The final and most famous ascent is that of the Cauberg, the 1200m climb is tackled three times by the peloton, with a painful maximum gradient of 13% halfway up and with the summit just 800m from the finish.
215km - The penultimate climb, the Keutenberg, is just 12.3km from the finish and is often a decisive springboard as although it is only 700m long it has an average gradient of 9.4% with certain sections ramping up to 20%.
220km - The group must tackle the first of two passes of the Wolfsberg and Loorberg, just before the 100km mark, before a loop to the south of Vaals. The final 60km lap is where the real action will take place - as nine quick-fire climbs.
225km - So what of the route? The riders left the market square in Maastricht and have travelled in a northern loop taking in Stein and Geleen before now heading back into the heartland of the race. Race Map (External)
230km - Whilst the Flanders cobbles favour the strong men, the Ardennes Classics are suited to the punchy climbers and the likes of Joaquim Rodriguez, Peter Sagan, Alejandro Valverde, Simon Gerrans, Samuel Sanchez, Damiano Cunego, Vincenzo Nibali and Tour de France champion Cadel Evans are the race favourites. Start List (External)
235km - He is relatively pessimistic about his chances of completing a hat-trick. He said: "With my current shape I won't be able to follow the best riders. I'll have to anticipate their attacks, but with my name, I won't be allowed freedom. Don't forget, I have not always been winning races. There are many reasons, like changing teams after a mentally and physically though year. It's only human to rebound like this."
240km - The Belgian has won the event in each of the last two years but has yet to win a race this season. The 29-year-old, who also won Fleche Wallonne and Liege–Bastogne–Liege in 2011 to claim all three Ardennes Classics, has been short on form since joining BMC but shown a glimmer of improvement with 12th place in Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday.
245km - Philippe Gilbert is aiming to become just the second cyclist in the 47-year history of the Amstel Gold Race to win the event three times.
250km - All 18 ProTour teams are in attendance plus wildcards Argos-Shimano, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, Landbouwkrediet-Euphony, Team Accent–Willems Veranda’s, Europcar and Farnese Vini.
255km - 188 riders have just rolled out of the start in Maastricht for the 256.5km route in the Limburg region that includes 31 climbs.
09:15 - Welcome to our coverage of the latest UCI WorldTour one-day race, the undulating Amstel Gold – the biggest annual race on the Dutch cycling calendar.