It was suppose to be another victory for Orica-GreenEdge and Matthew White last Sunday but instead Enrico Gasparotto spoiled the party by winning his second Amstel Gold race in memory of Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s former teammate Antoine Demoitie who died at Ghent-Wevelgem.
The experienced Italian jumped on the ascent up the Cauberg and the chasing peloton including the favourites of Michael Matthews and Simon Gerrans were unable to catch him; and for Orica they had to settle with Matthews finishing fifth.
But for White is was a frustrating afternoon, as heading into the race it was Orica that were deemed the favourites as they had the likes of Matthews and Gerrans, and also 2016’s Paris-Roubaix winner Matt Hayman in the squad. But ultimately they didn’t have the legs when it mattered most.
White says Orica were not ‘good enough’ to get the job done on Sunday
Gasparotto had the experience of winning Amstel Gold before, and it showed as he expertly timed his burst and held off the challenge of the riders behind; but it was a still a disappointment for Matthews who was with the Italian before he jumped.
And when it came down to the final kilometres, White said: “[Matthews] didn't have it when it mattered."
It was a tough day in the saddle and for Michal Kwiatkowski; it was a race where he fell short as he got dropped also. He was Team Sky’s main threat, but for other top contenders it was just one of those days.
And speaking after, White said: ”I think with the conditions, everybody was on the limit,” as Orica ultimately failed to deliver.
White was pleased that his riders controlled the majority of the race, but when push came to shove they didn’t have that burst of pace that would have seen the likes of Matthews and Gerrans take the win or even some of the podium places.