Kasia Niewiadoma finished in tenth place at today’s Amstel Gold in Valkenburg, Netherlands. After a blistering attack on the final ascent of the Cauberg, Kasia had only Elisa Longo Borghini (TFS) on her wheel. The pair were caught with 350 metres remaining and Marianne Vos (JVW) sprinted to victory.
Kasia described the first of the Ardennes Classics. “The start was a bit rough because of the early time and cold conditions but by lap two, and with every passing lap I was feeling better. When Annemiek attacked with three laps to go I could see she was going hard, and I was following her and still in control of my effort. That gave me a lot of confidence for the final; I knew where I wanted to attack. I just needed to stay patient and pray that there wasn’t a breakaway that would stay to the end.”
“I wanted to have a clear fight for the victory on that climb,” stated Kasia.
“I felt great in my attack. I’m disappointed first of all that Longo Borghini was on my wheel after the attack because the ideal scenario was that I was solo. When she was there, I thought ‘okay now we just need to go to the finish and then battle to see who wins.’ I could feel some resistance from Longo Borghini. She attacked me and I followed. Maybe I should have attacked her after that but I was still thinking we could both make it to the finish and we go for first and second. We didn’t cooperate at all. In the end, we fought for the last position in the group that caught us and not for the top of the podium.”
Kasia will now move her focus to La Flèche Wallonne. “It hurts but there are more opportunities! I’m feeling happy with where I am for the Ardennes Classics. My coach and the team have me in a good place. Flèche and Liège are more opportunities and we’ll bring all the positivity we can into those races this week.”