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Preview: What you need to know ahead of the women’s Amstel Gold Race

The Amstel Gold Race is back after being nullified in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. One of “the worlds largest” irregular one-days of its first year, the Amstel Gold Race has delivered three exciting happenings since it was added to Ardennes week in 2017.

Although the first edition was held in 2001, the race took a 13 -year hiatus and merely renewed in 2017. The race has since been prevailed by three of the more popular equestrians in the boast right now: Anna van der Breggen, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, and Kasia Niewiadoma. Van der Breggen prevailed solo while Van den Broek-Blaak took the win from a five-rider breakaway.

Niewiadoma’s triumph in 2019 was, in typical Niewiadoma style, a jaw-dropping performance. After an aggressive hasten, Niewiadoma criticized on the Cauberg climb with 2.3 km to go. She travelled solo for the remainder of the hasten with Annemiek van Vleuten close behind. On the final straight-shooting to the finish, Van Vleuten came very close to catching the Polish rider but Niewiadoma scarcely held on to take the victory.

The first scoot of Ardennes week, Amstel Gold is hilly and challenging, so units tend to swap some of their Classics equestrians for their rouleurs. Some equestrians who will line up in Valkenburg may have deplete a few weeks at home training. Some will be coming straight out of the hastening in Belgium. It’s a shift in the dynamic that supplements a whole new layer to the three Ardennes scoots.

The track

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the organisers of the Amstel Gold Race have altered the itinerary substantially. Instead of starting in Maastricht and gale through the Limburg region of the Netherlands before entering the final tours south of Valkenburg, the hasten will start and finish just outside of Valkenburg.

The females will scoot seven sips of the final 16.9 km route they hastened following the adjournment of the 2019 edition for a total of 115. 5 km of hastening.

Each lap the peloton will race up three advances; the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg, and the Cauberg. All three of the advances are relatively short but will gradually chip away at the peloton. The Geulhemmerberg is 1 km in span with an average rate of 5 %, while the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg are both just shy of 1,000 meters. The Cauberg is the steepest of the three at 6.5% median and 12% maximum grade.

There is 1.8 km from the upper part of the Cauberg to the finish line- the excellent launch area for a solo rider to “re going away”.

The hopefuls

The Amstel Gold Race will advocate a rider who is aggressive, can climb, has a good kick, and has the power to hold off any chasers for 1.8 km. A parcel of the same equestrians who featured in the Tour of Flanders and Strade Bianche will once again be seen at the pointy mission of the Amstel Gold Race.

Kasia Niewiadoma billows hello before the start of the theatre 1 crew hour experiment at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile in 2020.

Kasia Niewiadoma( Canyon-SRAM)

Kasia Niewiadoma won on this accurate finish in 2019. She known to be to make love and she has a hunger for victory. She was aggressive in Trofeo Alfredo Binda, a similar type of race to Amstel Gold – hilly and unrelenting.

Recently she demonstrated incredible species at Dwars door Vlaanderen, and although she didn’t look 100% in Flanders, she has had a good clod of occasion at home to recover and focus on the Ardennes.

Niewiadoma really radiances at the one-days. She’s been runner-up at the Giro Rosa, but her wording goes with the one-day hastens like schabowy and sauerkraut. With only three of the spring one-days left don’t be surprised to see her pout on the figurehead of the peloton.

Demi Vollering painted during Ronde van Vlaanderen 2021.

Demi Vollering( SD Worx)

Rumblings before the start of the Amstel Gold Race have hinted that Anna van der Breggen will not take to the start due to illness. Even if she does, she’s been sick in the run-up which passes Demi Vollering a chance to show herself. Vollering almost- as in a fingernail’s width virtually– earned Brabantse Pijl earlier in the week. She has been been looking strong all season, finishing fifth at the Tour of Flanders and sixth in Strade Bianche.

Vollering finished seventh in the 2019 copy of Amstel Gold when she was still razz for Parkhotel Valkenburg. She was in a select group of five that finished 10 seconds behind Niewiadoma and Van Vleuten. Since then she’s gotten better and better, especially this year where she has played a role in every scoot she’s attended.

Vollering will start alongside Van der Breggen, Van den Broek-Blaak, Amy Pieters, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, and Niamh Fisher-Black. As per usual, SD Worx has a few placards to play. As indicated, Van den Broek-Blaak prevailed in 2018 and Moolman Pasio examined great in Brabantse Pijl, but it would be great to see Vollering score her first large-scale win on Sunday.

Ruth Winder race Gent-Wevelgem in 2021.

Ruth Winder( Trek-Segafredo)

After a dramatic triumph at Brabantse Pijl Ruth Winder is looking positioned to take a big WorldTour victory soon. Winder was strong at the mid-week Classic, and with Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini absent, the US national endorse lastly got the chance to shine.

Both Longo Borghini and Deignan are on the start list for Amstel Gold, and Longo Borghini continues to look like the strongest Trek-Segafredo rider on offer. Deignan hasn’t relatively pictured the constitute she demonstrated in 2020.

The reason Winder might be Trek-Segafredo’s marked rider at Amstel Gold alongside Longo Borghini could be the nature of the descends. Winder has a kick on the short-lived clambers that is slightly better than Longo Borghini’s. The Italian national champ might be the team’s strongest climber but doesn’t have the same acceleration.

Really the American team has two strong cards to play. Winder from a small group, Longo Borghini if she can get away solo.

Another card they have is Tayler Wiles. Wiles has been travelling selflessly all season. She finished 11 th at Brabantse Pijl and was instrumental in Longo Borghini’s win at Trofeo Alfedo Binda. If she’s able to slip into a small group and get a headstart on the respite, Wiles could find herself in a excellent position to take the win.

Annemiek van Vleuten during the 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Annemiek van Vleuten( Movistar)

At Brabantse Pijl Annemeik Van Vleuten set up a move for her teammate Leah Thomas that became the prevail end of the day. Before that Van Vleuten acquired two hastens in a row, Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders, both with strong moves near the end of the hasten. She came out of an altitude block after Strade Bianche flying and could definitely continue her win stripe with Amstel Gold Race, specially because the course promotes a solo move.

Van Vleuten has also formed an interesting dynamic with Thomas that could come in handy as the scoots get more selective. As indicated, Thomas started the earn snap at Brabantse Pijl, but she didn’t have the acceleration at the line. A strong time-trialist, Thomas is more suited to a race like Amstel Gold and could play a role on Sunday.

Grace Brown after prevailing the 2021 Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne.

Grace Brown( BikeExchange)

After winning the Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne in dazzling mode Grace Brown went on to place third at the Tour of Flanders. Brown can get over the advances and make any selection but doesn’t have as good a knock as some other. Her signature move is solo, and Amstel Gold Race is ideal for a solo victory.

Amanda Spratt is also a rider to watch for Amstel Gold. Spratt finished third at Amstel Gold in 2018 and has targetted the Ardennes hastens in years past. She hasn’t thrown down more in 2021 but has still glanced good in the races still further. Fun fact: Spratt finished 11 th in all three Ardennes hastens in 2019.

Kristen Faulkner depicted during Ronde van Vlaanderen, 2021.

A few other equestrians to watch out for …

With the change in course for this year’s Amstel Gold Race, a few riders who have proven strong on the advances could have a shot on Sunday. One such rider is Kristen Faulkner( Tibco-SVB) who finished 10 th at the Tour of Flanders. The American is new to racing, so having achieved that kind of result is impressive, to say the least. Faulkner is a strong climber, and with a more selective race, she could continue to see strides in her development during the Ardennes.

FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope has three strong hopefuls for the hasten on Sunday: Emilia Fahlin, Marta Cavalli and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. All three have different strengths. Cavalli can get over the descends and has a solid kick. Fahlin has been getting better and better this season and finished eighth at Brabantse Pijl earlier this week. Uttrup Ludwig is always one to watch when the hastening gets tough and is still chasing that elusive first WT victory. Together Cavalli, Uttrup Ludwig, and Fahlin are a force.

As the G.O.A.T. Marianne Vos( Team Jumbo-Visma) is always one to watch. She wasn’t prosper on the soars of Flanders but the advances in Limburg are shorter and more suited to Vos.

Another rider who has been circling a succes this year is Soraya Paladin( Liv Racing ). Paladin followed Longo Borghini’s move in Gent-Wevelgem and was strong at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. She will be strong on the climbings of Amstel Gold.

It’s a bummer that Drops-Le Col s/ b Tempur will not hasten Amstel Gold Race because Joscelin Lowden has been consistently improving throughout the spring. With no more cobbles and a more selective race she would have been a fun one to watch on Sunday.

The coverage

Amstel Gold Race can be seen live on GCN+ and Eurosport from 11:05 neighbourhood time in Europe and Asia-Pacific. In the americas and Australia, FloBikes is the place to go.

This preview will be updated when startlists are finalised. Follow the link for our preview of the 2021 men’s Amstel Gold Race.

The post Preview: What you need to know ahead of the women’s Amstel Gold Race showed first on CyclingTips.

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