The 49th edition of the Amstel Gold Race kicks off at 10.15 in Maastricht in the Kimburg region of the Netherlands. The riders cross the River Maas and a little further down the road, at Borgharenweg, the 251.4 kilometre race officially begins.
The first hill of the Sligerberg looms at kilometre 9 but not until the Sibbergrubbe, after 50 kilometres does the race really kick into gear. From this climb onwards it’s vintage Amstel Gold Race, with lots of twists and turns while cycling on narrow country roads. Crashes are common and favourites face a constant battle to be up front in the peloton.
Following the Sibbergrubbe , riders face the famous Cauberg for the first time. The climb is tackled 4 times in total today. It’s a tough 800 metre with an average gradient of 12%, one for the puncheurs. This is where most of the crowd gather, with thousands of Dutch and Belgian fans cheering on their heroes.
Onceatop the Cauberg, the circuit begins. The hills then come one after the other: Wolfsberg, Loorberg, Schweibergerweg, Camerig, Drielandenpunt, Gemmenic, Vijlenerbos and Eperheide. 6 more of those and then it’s on to the Cauberg again. There really is no let up in the climbing.
The second round is a bit shorter than the first. After the Geulhemmerberg (970 metres, 7.9%) comes the Bemelerberg (900 metres, 7%), then the Loorberg for the 2nd time (1600 metres, 5.1%). The riders then take a ‘short cut’ to the Gulpenerberg (600 metres, 9.8%). Next up is the Eyserbosweg (110 metres, 8%), a favoured climb of old Dutch favourite Michael Boogerd. This is regarded as the toughest climb of the day.
2 more climbs, the Fromberg (1200 metres, 4.8%) and the Keutenberg (1700 metres, 6.1%) and then the riders arrive at the Cauberg agian.
The third round is shorter again and the speed will no doubt kick up a notch. The riders climb the Geulhemmerberg and the Bemelerberg again and then the final ascent of the Cauberg lays waiting. The finish line is 1.8 kilometres from the top.
Amstel Gold Race 2014: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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