Joaquím Rodríguez and Andy Schleck are among those suffering from crashes in the Amstel Gold Race. Rodriguez confirmed he will start in the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday but could suffer on the closing Mur de Huy climb.
“Our osteopath treated me very well, that’s why I decided to do this [two-hour ride] test,” said team Katusha’s captain. “The first 30 minutes were very painful, but afterwards it went better. The major problem remains the efforts on the climbs.”
The Spaniard won Flèche Wallonne in 2012. The race ends with a steep climb up ‘the wall’ of Huy, a small road that kicks up to 26 per cent in some sections.
“I am a bit afraid of the Mur de Huy, but we will see,” Rodríguez added.
“On the one hand, I feel it as an obligation towards my team-mate and last year’s winner Dani Moreno, to support him. On the other hand, I feel that I need this race to be at top level in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.”
Rodríguez said that he lowered his ambitions in the race. He crashed about 80 kilometres into Sunday’s 251.4-kilometre race with 2010 Tour de France winner Andy Schleck.
Schleck is searching for his top form after fracturing his pelvis in a crash at the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné. In the Amstel Gold Race, he hurt his knee.
“I did the work I had to do to start the classics on good form. I hope to show it in Flèche Wallonne and in Liège but I have doubts,” Schleck told Luxemburger newspaper Wort.lu. “Our Trek Factory Racing Team has competent people so I hope that we manage to resolve this problem.”
Unlike Rodríguez, Schleck continued the race. The 28-year-old Luxemburger abandoned 40 kilometres later, however.
Schleck hoped to lead the Trek team in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which he won in 2010. Schleck is still due to start Flèche and Liège, but the attention will now likely turn to his brother Fränk.
Sky’s Geraint Thomas survived the cobbled classics but crashed in the Amstel Gold Race. He wrote on Twitter, “Someone decided he wanted a wee and just turned 90 degrees right, nowhere to go, apart from the deck.”
Strong team effort from BMC Racing netted the victory in the 2014 Amstel Gold Race
Philippe Gilbert goes clear on final climb to claim 2014 Amstel gold Race victory