The rough and tough of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix cobbled classics are over and racing now moves to the Netherlands for the first of the Ardennes Classics the Amstel Gold race (the others are La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège). The terrain couldn’t be more different from the classics of the early spring, the Ardennes Classics are all notable for their hilly courses, the Amstel Gold race has 4,000m of climbing within its 251km route.

Whenever you think Ardennes classics the name Philippe Gilbert comes to mind, he’s won the Amstel Gold race twice before, the first time in 2010 and then repeated the win in 2011 and also went on to win La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège in the same year. Gilbert won the Brabantse Pijl earlier this week so his confidence leading in to these classics will be the high. Another of the main contenders will be Alejandro Valverde who already has five wins this season and also has an impressive record in the Ardennes having won Liège–Bastogne–Liège twice (2006 and 2008) and finished second in 2007 and third in 2013. Valverde has also won La Flèche Wallonne in 2006 and then finished runner up the following year, Valverde’s best Amstel Gold result to date is third in 2008.

The other favourites for this weekend’s race are Michal Kwiatlowski, Simon Gerrans, Joaquim Rodriguez and after his second place to Gilbert on Wednesday Orica-GreenEDGE’s Michael Matthews will be another to watch. Last years winner Roman Kreuziger shouldn’t be discounted and Tom Jelte Slagter is another favourite.

The Route

The route covers 251km with 34 categorised climbs totalling nearly 4,000m of climbing. The race starts in Maastricht at 10.15am Sunday morning and finishes on the new finish line used for the first time in 2013 which is now located 1.8km further on from the famous Cauberg climb in Valkenberg. The finish is the same as that used for the 2012 cycling World Championships.

Map of 2014 Amstel Gold race
2014 Amstel Gold race route
course profile of the 2014 Amstel Gold race
2014 Amstel Gold race profile

Climbs of the 2014 Amstel Gold Race:

1. Slingerberg (1.3km, 4.8%)
2. Adsteeg (700m, 4.5%)
3. Lange Raarberg (1.8km, 3.9%)
4. Bergseweg (2.6km, 3.3%)
5. Sibbergrubbe (1.8km, 3.9%)
6. Cauberg (1.2km, 5.8%)
7. Geulhemmerberg (1km, 6.2%)
8. Wolfsberg (800m, 4.4%)
9. Loorberg (1.5km, 5.5%)
10. Schweibergerweg (2.9km, 3.9%)
11. Camerig (4.3km, 3.8%)
12. Drielandenpunt (3.7km, 3.7%)
13. Gemmenich (900m, 6.4%)
14. Vijlenerbos (1.8km, 5.1%)
15. Eperheide (2.3km, 4.1%)
16. Gulpenerberg (700m, 8.1%)
17. Plettenberg (1km, 4.2%)
18. Eijserweg (2.2km, 4.3%)
19. Huls (1km, 7.7%)
20. Vrakelberg (700m, 7.9%)
21. Sibbergrubbe (2.1km, 4.1%)
22. Cauberg (1.2km, 5.8%)
23. Geulhemmerberg (1km, 6.2%)
24. Bemelerberg (900m, 5%)
25. Loorberg (1.5km, 5.5%)
26. Gulpenerberg (700m, 8.1%)
27. Kruisberg (800m, 7.5%)
28. Eijserbosweg (1.1km, 8.1%)
29. Fromberg (1.6km, 4%)
30. Keutenberg (700m, 9.4%)
31. Cauberg (1.2km, 5.8%)
32. Geulhemmerberg (1km, 6.2%)
33. Bemelerberg (900m, 5%)
34. Cauberg (1.2km, 5.8%)


The first Amstel Gold race was run in 1966 making it the youngest race of the spring classics, the first race was won by Frenchman Jean Stablinski who had previously won the Vuelta a España in 1958 and was also the World road race champion in 1962. Jan Raas holds the record of the most Amstel Gold race wins with five, from Eddy Merckx, Gerrie Knetemann, Rolf Järmann and Philippe Gilbert who all won twice. Netherlands has the most winners with 17 followed by Belgium with 11 wins and Italy with 6. Australia’s Phil Anderson won the race in 1983 riding for Peugeot-Shell-Michelin, to date Anderson remains Australia’s only winner.

The 2013 Amstel Gold race was won by Roman Kreuziger of the Czech Republic riding for Team Saxo-Tinkoff.


The Amstel Gold race is the only UCI road race named after a brewery. Amstel is a brewery that was founded in 1870 on the Mauritskade in Amsterdam, the brewery was named after the Amstel river. Amstel was taken over by Heineken International in 1968, two years after the Amstel Gold race was first run. Amstel Gold remains one of the brands premium beers.

Amstel Gold Bier
Amstel Gold Beer

The Amstel Gold Race will be on Eurosport from 10pm AEST Sunday and SBS from 11.10pm. Join The Bike Lane on twitter #AGR2014


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