Fabian Wegmann building momentum with eighth in Amstel Gold Race
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Fabian Wegmann building momentum with eighth in Amstel Gold Race

by Kyle Moore at 3:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race
German carries banner for Garmin-Barracuda, who put three in top 20

Fabian WegmannFabian Wegmann (Garmin-Barracuda) is looking forward to the week ahead, the Flèche Wallone on Wednesday and next weekend’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, after coming home eighth in Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.

Wegmann got his Ardennes campaign off to a strong start, as did his Garmin-Barracuda team, which placed three riders in the elite group that battled for the victory at the top of the Cauberg. Ryder Hesjedal, runner-up in the race in 2010, was 15th. Thomas Dekker was 18th, and while Dan Martin had an off day in placing 75th, the team was also well-represented in the day’s main breakaway.

Both Raymond Kreder and Alex Howes were a part of the nine-man breakaway that dominated the early part of the race. Howes was the penultimate man to be caught as the speeding peloton hit the final climbs of the day. He formed a duo with Romain Bardet of Ag2R-La Mondiale and showed a lot of determination in holding off the bunch for so long.

It was Wegmann, the experienced German, who was best able to repay the work of his team-mates in the finale.

“I’m obviously very pleased with the result,” he told Radsport-News. “Everything went exactly as we had planned. Maybe I missed an even better position,” he added, saying that he struggled a bit with poor positioning on the Cauberg finale.

Wegmann was also hung up briefly behind the unlikely crash that occurred as the lead bunch was hitting the early slopes of the finishing climb. Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky Procycling) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) contacted each other and both came down in the middle of the road, slowing up riders behind as they swerved around.

Wegmann complimented his team, and especially breakaway artists Kreder and Howes, on their hard work during the day that helped set up his finish. Garmin-Barracuda brings a bit of youthful inexperience in part of their Ardennes roster, to go along with the more experienced talents like Hesjedal and Martin.

“We had hoped [Kreder and Howes] would be present in the breakaway, and to have both make it was perfect,” Wegmann said.

The German was especially pleased with the racing of Howes.

“He put in a great performance again today, after he was already sixth on Wednesday in the Brabantse Pijl,” he continued. “With two in the group, of course we didn’t have to work in the main field. It was perfect.”

Given his quality finish in the Dutch Classic, Wegmann, a two-time German national road race champion, admitted to thinking about the World Championships road race later in the season, which also finishes just beyond the top of the Cauberg.

“I think I have shown that I have a good track record on this course, and I hope that now my chance for a selection [to the German national team] has increased,” he admitted.

But first, Wegmann heads to the Flèche Wallone with the multi-pronged Garmin-Barracuda attack, where the 31-year-old is hoping for consistency. “The podium is probably a bit far away for me, but finishing in the top ten is definitely realistic. And maybe a little more than that,” he added.


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