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Amstel Gold Preview


It’s a Rabobank rider – it must be the Amstel Gold Race

Amstel Gold is the newest of the Northern Classics, but this doesn’t mean it lacks importance in the peloton. It has been dubbed the race of a thousand corners and from one look at the route map it instantly becomes clear why. Take a look at the profile and it will dispel any myth that Holland is flat!(Limburg is the hilly part – ed.)

The winners list is a who’s who of cycling showing the importance of this race in the low country. The race is one where Classics and Tour riders clash, not unlike Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Even though Eddy Merckx first raced the Amstel in 1967 it would take him until 1973 before he finally won it, just proving how tough a race it is. He would go on to win it once more in 1975. Jan Raas is the race’s most prolific winner notching up wins from 1977-80 then again in ’82. The last Tour winner to win at Amstel was a certain Bjarne Riis, although Lance Armstrong came a close second on two occasions.

Okay I’m going to stick my neck out and list a couple of favourites, but I am sure I’ll get it completely wrong like Roubaix!

  • Frank Schleck – again I am sure he will be a marked man, but the Team has strength in depth so don’t be surprised if Kroon does something again.
  • Michael Boogerd – having won it once before (’99) and then coming second four times and third twice, maybe by the law of averages it is time again for another win from the Rabobank rider.(No way; he is getting slower every year and retires at the end of this season – ed.)
  • Alejando Valverde – 23rd last year but now with more experience under his belt it may well be his turn.
  • My two outsiders are Yaroslav Popovych and Danilo Di Luca.

    Coverage is poor for this race which is a shame. You could try pointing your browser at the german version of Eurosport as they might be running a live feed again like last weekend. Cycling.tv will be broad casting live from 13.00 (GMT+1) but only for Premium customers.

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