Amstel Gold Race: Kasia Niewiadoma wins on Lizzie Deignan return

Lizzie Deignan competing at the 2019 Amstel Gold Race
Lizzie Deignan was competing for the first time since the 2017 world championships

Britain's Lizzie Deignan returned to cycling at the Amstel Gold Race seven months after giving birth to her first child.

The former world champion, 30, was racing with her new team Trek-Segafredo as Kasia Niewiadoma, 24, won the first of this year's Ardennes Classics.

The Polish Canyon-SRAM rider held off two-time time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten in a close finish.

A superb men's race was won by Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands.

The 24-year-old, competing in his maiden Amstel race, emulated his father Adri's win of 1990 and is the first Dutch winner of the event since Eric Dekker in 2001.

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe broke away with Danish Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang with a little more than 35 kilometres to go and with three kilometres left, the two had a lead of 38 seconds, but Van der Poel produced a remarkable burst on the finishing straight.

Earlier Deignan pushed the leaders hard throughout the race and broke out to lead herself with around 40km to go.

However, she was unable to sustain her challenge in her first race for almost two years and finished among the chasing pack.

Multiple world champion Marianne Vos, 31, completed the podium in Limburg.

Deignan is now set to race in the other Ardennes Classics - La Fleche Wallonne Feminine and Liege-Bastogne-Liege - later this month.

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