The route of last two editions were very similar, so a likely scenario is that the race will resemble these editions, which were vintage Amstel Gold Race. Twists and turns from start to finish, while cycling on narrow country roads.
The 2020 Amstel Gold Race is expected to set off from Maastricht and to tackle the first hill, Slingerberg, as early as kilometre 10. With this the tone will be set. Zigzagging from one short and sharp climb to the next, the route traverses the hilly Limburg region in the south of the Netherlands in a number of loops. Sibbergrubbe, Bemelerberg, Loorberg and Gulperberg made a double appearance last year, while Cauberg and Geulhemmerberg were included three times. The route added up to 4,000 vertical metres.
The steepest ramps in the Amstel Gold Race are usually 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 serve double digit ramps, which surely will do damage after more than 200 kilometres in the saddle.
The race intensifies further when approaching the Keuterberg with its 22% ramp. The route then continues onto the last drag up the Cauberg some 10 kilometres later. For years this was the finale, but this scenario was first altered in 2017 in favour of a more attacker-friendly alternative.
Following the last passage over the Cauberg the riders cross the line for a 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 Bemelerberg. The ultimate climb is 900 metres at 4.5%. Shortly, the riders take a left-hander onto the alley-like Franse Steeg and after moving through Terblijt the route re-enters the wide road to arrival place Vilt.
Last year’s race served a dramatic finale. Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang had been on the attack for tens of kilometres and were playing cat and mouse when Michal Kwiatkowski rejoined them just before the flamme rouge. But the biggest surprise was yet to come. The remains of the peloton converged with the leaders inside the last 300 metres and Mathieu van der Poel sprinted to victory.