The route is very similar to last year’s, so from the first climb onward it’s vintage Amstel Gold Race. Twists and turns from start to finish, while cycling on narrow country roads. Crashes are common and favourites face a constant battle to be up front in the peloton.
The Amstel Gold Race kicks off at the Vrijthof in Maastricht to tackle the first hill, Slingerberg, inside the first 10 kilometres. With this the tone is set. The route takes in a numbers of loops through the hilly Limburg region in the south of the Netherlands, zigzagging from one short and sharp climb to the next. Sibbergrubbe, Bemelerberg, Loorberg and Gulperberg make a double appearance, while Cauberg and Geulhemmerberg are included three times.
The steepest ramps in the Amstel Gold Race are clustered in the run-up to the finale. With around 45 kilometres left Gulperberg, Kruisberg and Eyserbosweg follow in rapid succession. Albeit short, these climbs have double digit ramps. Yes, that is going to hurt after more than 200 kilometres in the saddle. Keuterberg serves a 22% section inside the last 27 kilometres, while the Gold Race offers its last drag up the Cauberg – with its steepest section at 12.8% – some 10 kilometres later.
Following the last passage over the Cauberg the riders cross the line for the final lap of 16 kilometres. Just after cresting the Geulhemmerberg – 1 kilometre at 5% – the riders take a right-hand turn and race on narrow roads to the foot of the Bemelerberg. The last climb of the day is 900 metres at 4.5%. Shortly, the riders take a left-hander onto the alley-like Franse Steeg (Dutch for French alley) and after moving through Terblijt the route re-enters the wide road to arrival place Vilt.
Last year, Michael Valgren put the narrow finale to good use. The Dane attacked twice in a group with pre-race favourites Peter Sagan, Tim Wellens and Alejandro Valverde. Roman Kreuziger was the only rider to respond to the second attack before Valgren bested him on the line.
Amstel Gold Race 2019: route, profiles, more
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