Amstel Gold Race – “Damn, they announce Kwiatko…”: an incredible imbroglio and a cold shower for Benoit Cosnefroy

84 seconds. During this time Benoit Cosnefroy was declared the winner of the Amstel Gold Race in Valkenburg on Sunday. Thus, for 1’24”, the Norman would have succeeded Bernard Hinault, the last Frenchman to win the event in 1981, before becoming disillusioned. It sounds crazy and yet it is unfortunately the terrible and cruel scenario that the Frenchman of AG2R Citroën experiences when the Dutch classic arrives. A year after the delivery of the photo finish, the organization again played with the nerves of the runners, the spectators and with the result.
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4.26 pm: a tight sprint

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It all started with the sprint between the two men. Michal Kwiatkowski, wedged into the Frenchman’s wheel, waits for the last minute to deliver his bet and comes back to Cosnefroy on the line. Live, the Pole seems to throw his bike better than the Frenchman, who takes too long to throw it. “On the line I feel like he’s going back to me, the Habs admit. After that it’s so tight, I tell myself why not”. The result is undecided, impossible to determine with real speed. †We saw on television that it was tensesays the sporting director of AG2R Citroen, Julien Jurdie. Benoit also told me on the radio ‘Photo-finish’‘”. Despite everything, just off the line, the Habs aren’t the most confident, showing a gesture of frustration before even getting off the bike. But he’s patient.

Jurdie, disillusioned: “Radio Tour first announces Benoît the winner…”

4.27 pm: the unbearable wait

Michal Kwiatkowski and Benoit Cosnefroy are both aware of the impossibility of knowing who has won and shake hands, fair play, then each wait for the photo finish judgment. Benoit Cosnefroy first asks on the radio if anyone knows what’s going on before confessing: “no I do not know“. He even comes to ask.”Is it me ?”. But nobody can answer him, nobody knows. Same story on the side of the Polish INEOS Grenadiers: “After the race it was unclear who had wonexplains Kwiatkowski. It was very confusing“. Still, it’s about to get even more…

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4.28 pm: the joy of Cosnefroy, winner announced

Yes “The cry, coming from the heart, surprises everyone. Suddenly Benoit Cosnefroy starts to cheer and at the same time Michal Kwiatkowski is filmed lowering his head. The reason?”Radio Tour first announces Benoit winner“, says Julien Jurdie. The Frenchman then begins to celebrate his success, the most prestigious of his career and the first for a Habs aan de Amstel since 1981!”It was an important win for us, it would have been the first in a big race, where we often get places of honour, podiums without winning.continues the DS of AG2R Citroën. The Amstel is still one of the most beautiful races of the season.”

The joy of Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroen), who then thinks he has won the Amstel Gold Race 2022

Credit: Getty Images

The finish and photo finish images haven’t aired yet, but the Radio Tour announcement seems to seal the Normand’s victory and everyone thinks it’s in the bag. †I was hoping Radio Tour would announce the result after seeing the photo finishadmits Julien Jurdie. Unfortunately it was not the case… ” My defeat, Michal Kwiatkowski remains cautious, however.”At first I was sad because I was there to winhe says. But I learned from what happened to Tom (Pidcock) last year: you have to wait for the photo finish“Experience is good. As with the sprint, he will be right.”

4:29 PM: The first images appear

As Benoit Cosnefroy and his teammates congratulate each other, the first slow motions finally arrive. The helicopter view retains the blur, the camera on the finish line sows doubts… The photo finish is indisputable: it is Michal Kwiatkowski who wins. Live, Steve Chainel doesn’t believe his eyes.

But that is impossiblehe smokes. But why did they announce Cosnefroy? How can we announce Cosnefroy before we see this? Oh the charlots… “After the story of the photo finish on the phone of 2021, the Amstel therefore offers the wrong winner already announced before the photo finish. At that time, the Frenchman of AG2R Citroën was not informed. The result has not yet been officially announced (duplicate ) by the officials. The joy is still okay. It will be short-lived.

Winner announced and ultimately 2nd behind Kwiatkowski: The frustrating arrival of Cosnefroy

4.30 pm: The result changes and Cosnefroy is disappointed

INEOS Grenadiers saw the footage. And she immediately informs Michal Kwiatkowski that he has just offered himself a second Amstel Gold Race, seven years after the first. The Pole starts to celebrate with his teammates that Benoit Cosnefroy is not yet aware of the result. When he suddenly finds out on his own: “Oh damn they announce Kwiatko . at…” The blow is terrible.”Obviously the emotional lift had gone very, very highadmits Julien Jurdie. It was an important win for us, it would have been the first in a big race (already mentioned in the paper). The joy was immense and, inevitably, the disappointment is just as great.

Inevitably there is joy, we are second in the Amstel Gold Race, by being an actor in the racehe continues. But despite everything, there is a lot of frustration about the announcement of Radio Tour. Sometimes it’s hard to understand Radio Tour… The name of Benoît, the winner, was the icing on the cake. There’s a lot of frustration, but we’re not going to argue. That’s life and it’s missing an inch to play for the win. It’s a shame, but it’s sport“. A way to see positive things that his rider shares.

If I start to cry with a podium with the Amstel, as much as I stop the bikewell-known Cosnefroy. I was really happy when I was declared the winner, but I have to put things in perspective and I think it’s a strength that I have to put things in perspective pretty quickly. There are still three Ardennes races to go and the dynamics have been launched, I hope it continuesAnd that the organizers will spare him an emotional lift this time. Even if that would mean that he would play for the win again.

Michal Kwiatkowski (INEOS Grenadiers) and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R Citröen) at the Amstel Gold Race 2022

Credit: Getty Images

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