Watch Philippe Gilbert and Michal Kwiatkowski go head-to-head at Amstel Gold Race (video)

The Monument winning pair came into the finish for a sprint to the line

There was somewhat more anticipation this year of what could be at the Amstel Gold Race. No more would the Dutch Classic and the opening racing of the Ardennes week culminate with a super sprint up the iconic Cauberg climb.

In a bid to stop the rest of the race being devoid of action in 2017, organisers pushed the final climb of the race further back on the course, with the Cauberg itself third from last at 19km to go.

And what a race it proved to be. Much like the other Classics, the final 50km were action packed with numerous attacks attempting to split the race into pieces.

Tour of Flanders winner Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) and Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski would eventually be the pair to face-off in the finale after dropping a field heavy with one-day experts.

It was Belgian champion Gilbert who got the honours though, claiming his fourth career victory at Amstel Gold Race after he shrewdly beat his Polish rival to the line.

The Ardennes Classics week will continue on Wednesday, with riders heading to a final sprint up the Mur de Huy in La Flèche Wallonne before the week culminates at the season’s fourth Monument, Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday.