The Amstel Gold Race is one of the Ardennes Classics (despite being situated in the Netherlands) and takes place on Saturday April 18 2021.
The race is usually a hotly contested affair being the first of the three Ardennes, before La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and after a year out due to cancellation thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic it is back in that same slot.
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 last edition of the race, in 2019, saw men’s winner Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon–Circus) win having singlehandedly pulled back a break, before sprinting ahead of the select group hanging onto his wheel. The women’s race winner, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), won solo, holding off the formidable Annemiek van Vleuten (then Mitchelton-Scott).
Amstel Gold Race route
The 55th 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.
After a revamp of the route in 2017, the 263km men’s route changed slightly in 2018 and it stayed the same for 2019, with a distance of 265.7km. We’re not expecting much to change for 2021.
Following the start, at the Market in Maastricht, riders will complete 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 was designed to drive competition levels, by making perfect positioning all the more crucial. 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 2021
The race is typically broadcast on Eurosport and GCN Race Pass
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
2018: Michael Valgren (DEN) Astana
2019: Mathieu van der Poel (NED) Corendon–Circus
2020: No race
Amstel Gold Race women’s past winners
2001: Debby Mansveld (NED) Vlaanderen T Interim
2002: Leontien van Moorsel (NED) Leontien van Moorsel (NED)
2003: Nicole Cooke (GBR) Pasta Zara–Cogeas
2004-2016: No race
2017: Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
2018: Chantel Blaak (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
2019: Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
2020: No race