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.

The race is usually a hotly contested affair being the first of the three Ardennes, before La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

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.

>>> Iconic Places: The Cauberg

The peloton climbs the Gulpenerberg in the 2014 Amstel Gold Race

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 Cauberg has been influential in the past but won’t feature in the final loop

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.

The inaugural women’s race went to Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) – who did manage the hattrick, winning this, plus Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes and La Flèche Wallone.

  • two20

    Amstel’s a great race in its own right. When the cameras get in with the riders navigating the street furniture, you do really appreciate how fast the Pros ride. Bring it on.