The 49th edition of Amstel Gold Race will take place this Sunday 20th of April. The first of the three Ardennes Classics, Amstel Gold Race is Holland’s only WorldTour event and will see riders cover a total of 251 km, featuring 33 climbs, which total over 4000m of climbing.
The finish line is located 1.8 kilometers past the summit of the famous Cauberg (800 m, slope 12%) in Valkenburg.
Simon equalled his best Amstel Gold Race result last year when he rode himself onto the podium. Second in the chase group sprint, Simon claimed third place behind Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo), who took the win from a late breakaway, and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who edged out Simon from the chase group.
“Amstel Gold is one of my favourite races of the year and I have been working towards this race for a long time. ORICA-GreenEDGE have put together one of their strongest line ups ever so we have a fantastic chance of getting a good result,” said Simon.
“I’m really happy with my condition at the moment leading into Amstel. Although it’s been a turbulent spring for me with sickness and a few minor setbacks, the final phase of my preparation for the Ardennes has gone really well. I’ve put the runs on the board with Amstel in the past, so I’m probably going to be the guy the team looks to get a result on Sunday, and I feel up for the challenge,” added Simon.
With a strong team performance at last Wednesday’s De Brabantse Pijl, ORICA-GreenEDGE are confidant of securing some WorldTour points, 80 of which will be awarded to the winner come Sunday.
“We have a great team for Amstel. We’ve got plenty of cards to play beyond our team leader Simon Gerrans, and that is a luxury in a race like this. Of the three races next week, Amstel is the one that suits the characteristics of our team the best.” said ORICA-GreenEDGE Sport Director Matt White.
The race will depart the Market Square of Maastricht at 10:15am and is expected to finish at around 16:45 in the town of Valkenburg.
ORICA-GreenEDGE for Amstel Gold Race:
Christian Meier (CAN), Daryl Impey (RSA), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Michael Albasini (SWI), Michael Matthews (AUS), Pieter Weening (NED), Simon Clarke (AUS) and Simon Gerrans (AUS).
For more information on the race, please visit the official race website here.
For Australian viewers, Amstel Gold Race will be televised LIVE from 11:05pm Sunday 20 April on SBS ONE with live streaming online here.
The 2013 Amstel Gold Race podium. Image with thanks to Graham Watson.