Photo – Amstel Gold Experience by Teocalli
The first of the three Ardennes Classics, Amstel Gold takes place on the 21st April for both Men and Femmes.
For the Men this is the 54th edition and will run over approximately 240 Km and for the Femmes this will be the 3rd edition over approximately 120 Km, the first being in 2017. The routes start in Maastricht and end in Valkenburg.
The Mens route is over three loops through the South Limburg hills with three ascents of the Cauberg and finishes with ascents of the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg, but not the Cauberg. On the final lap after the climb of the Geulhemmerberg the peloton will descend via the Kuitenbergweg. Following a route through the Molenweg and the Peutgensweg, over the Rasberg, up the Bemelerberg, towards Terblijt and then via the Rijnsbergerweg on the Sibberweg – and into the last kilometre.
The Femmes route covers the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg.
Having ridden the Cauberg 3 times on a vintage steed (Eroica Limburg starts and finishes in Valkenburg) the Cauberg did not seem quite as bad as I expected – though to be fair it is at the start of the Eroica Limburg and I was not going quite as fast as a Pro Peloton! Though I can vouch for the fact that that part of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are anything but flat.
I doubt that the Pros will encounter the river crossing encountered in Eroica Limburg but the restaurant at the crossing serves fabulous tartes.