What surprised me most about the Fleche Wallonne parcours was just how hard this 200km ‘semi-Classic’ is. There’s nothing ‘semi’ about it… It deserves the prime time and throws up 11 rated climbs, including 3 passes over a 1300 meter brute called the Mur de Huy. Here’s how it happened to me…
The Amstel Gold Race normally signals the start of the Ardennes Classics and the climbers come out of the woodwork. Raced over the hills, dales, and forests of south eastern Holland, the course selects its own worthy winner. Twenty-five years ago it was Mauro Gianetti who was making the news.
Race Report: Mathieu van der Poel won his home race in a fascinating finalé of the Amstel Gold Race. After a failed attack at 44 kilometers out, the Dutch champion looked out of the race, but with a hard chase, he single handed pulled the race together and won the sprint. Twenty-nine years after father, Adrie van der Poel.
Rider Interview: Love him or hate him, Davide Rebellin has an impressive palmarès. He had his 2008 Olympic silver medal taken away and served his suspension, to then resume his professional career, now in his twenty-seventh season (28 if you include his banned 2010). A multi Classics winner with a shadow over his career - Ed Hood had to have a word with Davide.
Race Preview: The cobbled races have now passed and the road season turns the corner and hits the climbs of the Ardennes Classics. First up is Holland's only Classic - The Amstel Gold Race. Ed Hood looks at what used to be a sprinters event that is now climb packed finalé of fun from Maastricht, through Southern Limburg, over the Cauberg and finish on the Vilt-Valkenburg.
Race Preview: The spring season now moves from the cobbles to the climbs and this Sunday sees the action hit Holland and the Amstel Gold Race. At one time it was a race for a sprinter that could get over a few climbs, now is has 35 climbs packed into its 260 kilometers. Ed Hood takes a look at the Dutch Classic.
Amstel Gold Race Preview: The dust has settled on the cobbles of Flanders and Roubaix and so the WorldTour turns its eyes towards the hillier races of the Dutch and Belgian Ardennes. Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège are next week, but this Sunday is Holland's biggest one day race, the Amstel Gold Race.
Windmills, flat countryside and Amstel beer are all typically Dutch, but the Amstel Gold Race is far from flat with 34 classified climbs. Peter Easton runs through the background to this Sunday's race and its untypical Dutch profile in the South-East region of Holland.
PEZ-clusive: On the startline at the Amstel Gold, following the race and then at the finish, new PEZ contributing photographer Wei Yuet was there in the heart of the action. Here's the story of Wei's day from behind the lense following the Netherland's only Classic.