• Nathan Haas was in the mix throughout his favourite race of the season. (Getty)Source: Getty
Australia's Nathan Haas was the best placed Australian at the Amstel Gold Race, digging deep to be with the elite at the end of the 261km from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijt.
Cycling Central

17 Apr 2017 - 9:03 AM  UPDATED 17 Apr 2017 - 4:45 PM

Haas went into the race as Dimension Data's protected rider and was well positioned to respond when Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) helped to force the final selection.

"Today, we really wanted to put a pin in it. We went into this race with only one goal in mind, to race it with balls. Win or lose," Haas said.

"Johann [Van Zyl] did a great job in the break, representing, and even when it came back, he still went to the front to pull.

"There really is a lot of conviction on this team. We all believe in what we are doing and we fight to race for a reason. I can’t thank the guys enough.

"This is a very stressful race but they looked after me all day, eliminating all that stress. I put the pressure on myself because I felt my legs were strong enough to hold it."

Haas: 'It's a bit of a shame that the Cauberg isn't in the final"
The irrepressible Nathan Haas was in a buoyant mood on the eve of the Amstel Gold Race as he takes the next step in his career, leading the Dimension Data squad in the Ardennes classics.

The Canberran was among the final eight as it separated itself from the peloton for the rest of the race.

It was only when Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) and Gilbert made their final attack that Haas fell back to eventually finish 10 seconds behind Orica-Scott's Michael Albasini.

"I felt my legs were strong enough to hold it," Haas said. "I haven’t won too many races from a small select group, it’s usually after a reduced group sprint, so this performance really felt like some kind of psychological breakthrough for me.

"I’m really proud of myself today”.