Gasparotto wins Amstel race
Valkenburg, Netherlands - Italy's Enrico Gasparotto on Sunday won the Amstel Gold Race, the Dutch cycling classic raced over 256.5km from Maastricht to Valkenburg.
The 30-year-old Astana rider beat Belgium's Jelle Vanendert and Peter Sagan of Slovakia in a sprint for the line, chasing Spain's Oscar Freire, who broke away 6km from the finish and was only caught in the final 50 metres.
Nine riders had previously broken away from the main peloton at the 39km mark and put up to 13 minutes 20 seconds between themselves and the pack.
The BMC and Katusha teams led the chase, clawing back the deficit until Freire's breakaway.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert, who has won the two previous editions of the race, tried to keep with the pace but faded in the last 100m.
The win for Gasparatto, who came third in the race two years ago, is his first major classic victory. He was a stage win in the Giro in 2007 and also won the Italian championships in 2005.
The winner of the last Tour de France, Australia's Cadel Evans, abandoned the race after the second ascent at Cauberg, when he was 75km from the finish.
Results of the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday:
1. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA/AST) 6h32min 35sec (average: 39.2 kmh), 2. Jelle Vanendert (BEL/LTB) same time, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/LIQ) at 0:02, 4. Oscar Freire (ESP/KAT) same time, 5. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) s.t., 6. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) s.t., 7. Samuel Sanchez (ESP/EUS) s.t., 8. Fabian Wegmann (GER/GRM) at 0:04, 9. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/ALM) s.t., 10. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) s.t.