Katusha's Sergei Ivanov wants a second victory at the Amstel Gold Race
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Katusha's Sergei Ivanov wants a second victory at the Amstel Gold Race

by Jered Gruber at 4:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
36 year old 2009 winner looking forward to his favorite race on Sunday

Sergei Ivanov, the winner of the 2009 Amstel Gold Race, has his eyes firmly set on glory on the Cauberg again in 2011.

Speaking with Het Nieuwsblad, the 36 year old Russian says that there's a very specific date circled on his calendar: "April 17th is circled in red."

After a disappointing 2010 season, which saw the 1996 Tour de l'Avenir runner-up fail to repeat his successes of 2009, Ivanov hopes to return to the form that has long made him a feared rider in the hills.

The Katusha rider promises: "I will be there that day in the Amstel Gold Race."

So far, however, Ivanov has been quiet this year. 39th at the Ronde, 86th at Gent-Wevelgem, 10th at the E3 Prijs Harelbeke, and 36th overall at the Tour Down Under do not do much to encourage any predictions of grandeur for the veteran Russian this Sunday.

Of course, those races weren't over his favorite roads in Limburg. Up until this point in the season, any result would be a bonus for Ivanov - beginning on Sunday, things take a decidedly more serious tone, as his favorite and best suited races are next on the agenda.

Ivanov is such a fan of the Amstel Gold Race, that when asked about his proudest achievement in his long career, he answers that it's his win in Holland's classic in 2009 - over a slew of other major results.

"The Amstel Gold Race in 2009. That's the race that suits me best. All day, the race is concentrated on difficult, narrow roads. That is me. Of course, I am also delighted to have been Russian champion six times and to have won two stages of the Tour de France, but number one for me will also be my win on the Cauber in 2009."

Along with Joaquin Rodriguez, Katusha will have a stellar pairing this next week in the Ardennes.


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