Amstel Gold race is next up in the women’s world tour calendar and it’s set to be a super exciting race around the region of Limburg. The race totals 120km with 17 short steep climbs to break up the peloton and allow for relentless aggressive racing throughout.
After watching The Tour of Flanders I believe riders who suit climbing will want to take the race on earlier not wanting to have to compete with the sprinters at the finish. Healthy Ageing Tour has just finished and winning the 5 day stage race was Lisa Klein riding for Canyon SRAM Racing with Ellen Van Dijk in second and Kirsten Wild in 3rd. Lisa is clearly in good form but can she get over the climbs of Amstel?
Last year the race was won by Chantal Blaak of Boels Dolmans after a small group got away early in the race and managed to hold off the peloton which finished 1min 30sec behind. My prediction this year after watching the classics so far this season is that it will be super aggressive from the start only stopping when the teams are happy with a break composition. With the race finishing over the famous Cauberg climb the winner will need to have their climbing legs on to produce the power when it matters. With Boels Demands yet to have a WWT win I think the pressure is on for them to come up with the goods. However I personally love the unpredictability of the races this year with so much strength and depth in the womens peloton as a whole rather than one or two teams dominating.
I’m personally really excited to see Lizzie Deignan back in the peloton for this race- her first since the world championships in 2017 after giving birth to her daughter 8 months ago. I’m sure there will be many riders intrigued to see how her form is however I think just being on the start line is an incredible step in working towards her biggest aim of the season in Yorkshire World Championships later in the year.
With all this in mind and following the races so far my predictions for Amstel are-
- Ellen Van Dijk – Trek- Segafredo
- Marianne Vos – CCC LIV
- Amy Pieters – Boels Dolmans