Everything you need to know about the Amstel Gold Race, taking place on Sunday April 15
The Amstel Gold Race is one of the Ardennes Classics (despite taking place in the Netherlands) and takes place on Sunday April 15 in 2018.
Taking a place in the UCI WorldTour, and the UCI Women’s WorldTour, both the men’s and women’s races draw in some of the top riders in the world.
The women’s edition was added in 2017, and will remain unchanged going into its second year.
Amstel Gold Race 2018 route
The 53rd edition of the race will feature the same narrow roads, short, sharp ascents, twists and turns we’ve come to expect from the Ardennes Classics. The men’s race sets off at 10.20am, and the women’s at 10.40am.
The 240km men’s route has seen a change for the 2018 edition. Following the start, at the Market in Maastricht, riders will ride three big loops through the South Limburg hills – covering three ascents of the Cauberg and passages of the finish line in Vilt-Valkenburg.
The final loop will contain ascents of the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg, but not the Cauberg. Instead, after the climb of the Geulhemmerberg the peloton will descend via the Kuitenbergweg towards the district Amby. Once down, after the Molenweg and the Peutgensweg, they’ll cross the Rasberg, climb the Bemelerberg, turn left towards Terblijt and then right again via the Rijnsbergerweg on the Sibberweg – where they’ll enter the last kilometre.
The change has been designed to drive competition levels, by making perfect positioning all the more cruicial. Race Director Leo van Vliet commented on the change, saying: “we are looking for the narrower roads on what will make the control of the peloton more difficult.”
The 120km women’s race starts and finishes at the same place as the men’s, about 1.8 kilometers past the top of the Cauberg. The peloton will confront the 970 metre de Geulhemmerberg, with its eight per cent gradient, the Bemelerberg (900 meters, gradient seven per cent) and the infamous 800 metre, 12 per cent Cauberg along the way.
Amstel Gold Race 2018 start list
Start lists aren’t out yet – but we can expect to see all of the UCI WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour teams competing, plus a hand full of wildcard guests.
Amstel Gold Race 2018 TV guide
Last year, the race was shown live on Eurosport, with highlights on Eurosport two.
You can also follow updates on the official Twitter account: @Amstelgoldrace
Amstel Gold Race past winners
Taking it back to the year 2000, the winners are as follows:
|2000||Erik Zabel (GER)||Team Telekom|
|2001||Erik Dekker (NED)||Rabobank|
|2002||Michele Bartoli (ITA)||Fassa Bortolo|
|2003||Alexandre Vinokourov (KAZ)||Team Telekom|
|2004||Davide Rebellin (ITA)||Gerolsteiner|
|2005||Danilo Di Luca (ITA)||Liquigas–Bianchi|
|2006||Fränk Schleck (LUX)||Team CSC|
|2007||Stefan Schumacher (GER)||Gerolsteiner|
|2008||Damiano Cunego (ITA)||Lampre|
|2009||Serguei Ivanov (RUS)||Team Katusha|
|2010||Philippe Gilbert (BEL)||Omega Pharma–Lotto|
|2011||Philippe Gilbert (BEL)||Omega Pharma–Lotto|
|2012||Enrico Gasparotto (ITA)||Astana|
|2013||Roman Kreuziger (CZE)||Saxo–Tinkoff|
|2014||Philippe Gilbert (BEL)||BMC Racing Team|
|2015||Michał Kwiatkowski (POL)||Etixx–Quick-Step|
|2016||Enrico Gasparotto (ITA)||Wanty–Groupe Gobert|
|2017||Philippe Gilbert (BEL)||Quick-Step Floors|
In 2017, Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) denied Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) a full Ardennes Classics house, beating another former winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in a two-up sprint for the line.