The race kicks off at the Markt in Maastricht and for starters, the women begin a zigzagging journey through the hilly Limburg region in the south of the Netherlands. They climb Slingerberg, Adsteeg, Lange Raarberg, Bergseweg, Eyserbosweg, Fromberg and Keutenberg before they enter the circuit after approximately 66 kilometres. And who’s there to bid welcome to the riders? Cauberg, the most revered of the Netherlands.
Mind you, Cauberg is no Stelvio, but it’s a nasty 800 metres with an average gradient of 6.5% and a steepest section of 12.8%. The climb is included four times in the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition.
1.6 kilometres after the Cauberg the riders first pass the finish line and the circuit begins. Three laps of 17.8 kilometres and three times the Geulhemmerberg/Bemelerberg/Cauberg combo.
The Geulhemmerberg is 1 kilometre at 5% and with its steepest sector at 8%. The route continues on an extremely narrow road to Maastricht, but without entering the city. Instead the Amstel Gold Race for women hits another narrow road to the foot of the Bemelerberg, which is a winding 900 metres climb at 5%. A false flat and a drop takes the riders in 5.4 kilometres to the foot of the Cauberg. The steepest ramp is 300 metres up the hill, which is a perfect place to strike. As said, the finish line is 1.6 kilometres after the top of Cauberg.
Last year, Elizabeth Deignan, Elisa Longo Borghini and Kasia Niewiadoma attack on the penultimate ascent of the Cauberg. Annemiek van Vleuten, Coryn Rivera and Anna van der Breggen tracked them down on Bemelerberg before the Olympic Champion pushed on alone. Van der Breggen held off the chasing group to pocket her home race ahead of Deignan and Niewiadoma.
Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition 2018: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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