Frank Schleck takes Amstel Curacao criterium win ahead of Petacchi and Terpstra
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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Frank Schleck takes Amstel Curacao criterium win ahead of Petacchi and Terpstra

by Shane Stokes at 6:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Shortened race goes to elder Schleck brother

Frank SchleckLuxembourg road race champion Frank Schleck ensured a big name winner for the Amstel Curacao race when he was first to the line at the end of today’s criterium.

The Team Saxo Bank rider broke clear during the event and soloed in ahead of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Niki Terpstra (Team Milram), with the other professional and amateur riders finishing further back.

The race was originally due to be held yesterday but heavy rainfall and the resulting flooding meant that parts of the course were covered by water, thus rendering them very risky.

“The rains have made the route too dangerous,” stated the organisers yesterday, explaining the postponement. “Large portions of the trail are under water. The safety of the riders comes above all.”

Today’s race was approximately an hour long and used a different circuit, thus avoiding the problems.

The event is held each year and allows the riders a chance to holiday in luxurious conditions and sunshine, do a little racing, while at the same time boosting the tourism drive for the area. Alberto Contador won in 2009 and 2007, while Schleck’s brother Andy was first to the line in 2008.

Schleck senior has had a strong season, winning the Tour de Suisse with an uncharacteristically solid final time trial, netting an early stage win there and also taking out a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg. He was also seventh in the Amstel Gold Race and eighth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Frank SchleckHis Tour de Suisse success raised hopes that he and his brother could fight for the first-ever family podium in the Tour de France, but he crashed out on the cobblestones of stage three. A broken collarbone led to his immediate retirement from the race and while he came back later in the year to net fifth overall in the Vuelta a España, he wasn’t quite at the same high form.

The Curacao event may be more about spending time in the sun while Europe is cloaked in winter weather, but today’s experience will do no harm to his morale. His aim now is to build strong form prior to starting racing with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, a new squad featuring many of his current team-mates.

Today’s race was almost certainly his final outing with Saxo Bank, bringing to an end an eight and a half year period with the squad.

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Amstel Curaçao Race:

1. Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank)
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini)
3. Niki Terpstra(Milram)


Jan Thiel Criterium (Nov 5):

1, Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank)
2, Steven de Jongh (Petrus Wealth Management)
3, Danilo Hondo (Lampre)
4, Niki Terpstra (Milram)
5, Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)
6, Grischa Niermann (Rabobank)

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