Russian cyclist Sergei Ivanov won the one-day classic Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, a 257 kilometres ride from Maastricht to Valkenburg.
The 34-year-old Russian national champion - second in the 2002 renewal - beat home two Dutch riders in the shape of Karsten Kroon and Robert Gesink.
"This is a great day for the team," said Ivanov, referring to his Russian financed Katusha team. "All the Russians worked hard to achieve this result. This is a Russian operation and I am very proud. I have been coming here since 1998 and I knew that I could do something special."
Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert took fourth while last year's winner Damiano Cunego of Italy was fifth.
Cunego at least fared better than the 2006 winner Frank Schleck, who suffered a heavy fall. The Luxemburg national champion - second last year - fell whilst 70 kilometres from the finish along with Australian Matthew Lloyd. Both cyclists remained on the ground and were fitted with surgical collars before being taken to hospital.
According to his team, Schleck never lost consciousness and was later diagnosed as having suffered a mild concussion.
"It is not as serious as we first feared," said his team sporting director Kim Andersen.
"Frank is fine and that is the most important thing. I was really concerned for him when I saw him lying on the ground," added Andersen, who was unable to say when Schleck might return to action.
© AFP 2009
|1 Sergei Ivanov (Rus|Team Katusha)||6:38:31|
|2 Karsten Kroon (Ned|Team Saxo Bank)|
|3 Robert Gesink (Ned|Rabobank)||0:00:08|
|4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel|Silence-Lotto)|
|5 Damiano Cunego (Ita|Lampre - N.G.C.)|
|6 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus|Team Saxo Bank)|
|7 Simon Gerrans (Aus|Cervelo Test Team)|
|8 Nick Nuyens (Bel|Rabobank)|
|9 Christian Pfannberger (Aut|Team Katusha)|
|10 Andy Schleck (Lux|Team Saxo Bank)|
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com