Ivanov says he’s got the condition for a repeat win in the Amstel Gold Race
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ivanov says he’s got the condition for a repeat win in the Amstel Gold Race

by Conal Andrews at 4:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Amstel Gold Race
 

Defending champion Sergei Ivanov is feeling upbeat about his chances of taking a repeat win in the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, saying that his things have gone exactly to plan in the build-up to the event.

“I think I have the ability to take the victory,” he said, according to Feltet.dk. “I have great motivation. My preparation has been the exact same as last year . I know I must keen an eye on riders like Robert Gesink, the Schleck brothers, Damiano Cunego and Karsten Kroon. And Kroon will certainly be hungry to get revenge for last year.”

Twelve months ago, he and Kroon bridged across to lone leader Robert Gesink and then dropped the Dutchman on the final climb of the Cauberg. Kroon and Ivanov fought it out for the win, with the Katusha rider leading out and easily taking the sprint.

The race is one peppered with short, steep climbs and twisting, technical roads, and is one which he feels is perfectly suited to his talents.

“I have always ridden well in the Amstel Gold Race. I could actually have won earlier than last year, but the circumstances were not always to my advantage,” the 35 year old said. “For example, in 2002, I sacrificed my own chances for Michele Bartoli. He was the captain of Fassa Bortolo then and the team owner Giancarlo Ferreti ordered me to sacrifice myself for him. I had no trouble doing it but I just want to say that you also need luck. That year, I was absolutely as good as him.”

Bartoli proved quickest of a four man break in the final sprint, passing Ivanov just before the line and adding to his long list of Classic successes. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) was third, one place ahead of Lance Armstrong (US Postal Service).

2009 was a good season for the Russian, as he also nabbed a second stage victory in the Tour de France. In addition to that, he won a stage of the Tour of Belgium and defended his Russian national road race title.

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