“Realistically I am not 100% which is really disappointing, but in saying that I know once I get out there I will do everything I can to achieve a good result for myself and the team.”

Amstel is a race I am super passionate about and is one of my favourite races of the season. It is a race that I put a big emphasis on performing well at, so I am super excited to be back there this weekend.

Unfortunately my preparation for the Ardennes Classics has been far from ideal this year. I have had quite a few set backs, however I feel that my form is improving with every race and actually with every training ride, so I am on the right course.

Realistically I am not 100% which is really disappointing, but in saying that I know once I get out there I will do everything I can to achieve a good result for myself and the team.

We have a really experienced team racing Amstel with guys who have raced together at the Ardennes for the last few years. We have a tight-knit team that know what it takes to do well on the day.

As far as the race goes, Amstel has a really aggressive course with a lot of corners and a lot of hills which makes for a selective race.

The weather has a huge impact of what goes down at the end of Amstel. If there is no wind or like last year a slight tailwind from the top of the Cauberg to the finish, then it will be very difficult to bring back any late attacks. If it is anything but, or maybe a slight headwind then there is a very good chance that a small group will come back together after the Cauberg and be sprinting for the win.

Philippe Gilbert will be the man to beat at Amstel on Sunday. He has a really impressive track record at this race and on this course and will be the man that everyone is watching.

It’s going to be a very interesting race and I’m really looking forward to getting out there.

Simon.

Amstel Gold Race

Christian Meier (CAN) – Daryl Impey (RSA) – Mathew Hayman (AUS) – Michael Albasini (SWI) – Michael Matthews (AUS) – Pieter Weening (NED) – Simon Clarke (AUS) – Simon Gerrans (AUS)

20 April 2014
One day race
Maastricht to Valkenburg
251 km / 156.0 mi.

For more information on the race, please visit the official race website.