In 2017, the route of the Amstel Gold Race was overhauled to favour attackers. It turned out the right way, as the race serves compelling finales since then. That development reached its zenit in the 2019, when Mathieu van der Poel ambushed Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang on the finishing straight. The Dutchman led a group seemingly from nowhere back tot the front of race before sprinting ahead to take and incredible victory.
Van der Poel succeeded Michael Valgren (2018) and Philippe Gilbert (2017), who bested Roman Kreuziger and Michal Kwiatkowski, respectively, in two-up sprints after late attacks. Are we going to see another nail-biting finale? The narrow roads in the final lap are very attacker-friendly. Actually, since the route is revamped to be COVID-19 proof the whole route favours attackers more than ever.
Adding up to 38 climbs, the 2021 Amstel Gold Race features twelve times the Cauberg and thirteen times the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg. The finishing lap amounts to almost 16 kilometres and features alley-like roads.
Three former winners line-up this year: Michael Valgren (2018), Michal Kwiatkowski (2015), and Roman Kreuziger (2013).
Favourites 2021 Amstel Gold Race
*** Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic
** Maximilian Schachmann, Marc Hirschi, Michal Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews
* Wilco Kelderman, Warren Barguil, Jakob Fuglsang, Søren Kragh Andersen, Tom Pidcock