On Sunday Team Jumbo-Visma Women will be at the start of the seventh edition of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition. After three editions at the beginning of this decade, the Limburg hill classic for women is back on the calendar since 2017.
After the cancellation of the Amstel Gold Race in 2020 due to corona measures, the race will be held on a modified course this year. Both start and finish will be in the municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul. The course covers a 16.9 kilometres circuit including the Geulhemmerberg, Bemelerberg and Cauberg. This lap will be completed no less than seven times.
From the last time Cauberg there is still more than one and a half kilometres to go to the finish. The fact that the difference could be made on this slope is evident from the last edition. In 2019, Kasia Niewiadoma attacked early on the climb. Annemiek van Vleuten gave chase. After a thrilling final, Marianne Vos won the group sprint and finished only ten seconds behind Niewiadoma and Van Vleuten.
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Last year the Limburg hill classic was cancelled due to the corona pandemic. Vos is all the more eager to go for the highest achievable result again this year. “It is great that the Amstel Gold Race can be held this year. As a Dutch rider that gives it extra cachet, especially in the colours of Team Jumbo-Visma. The climbs in the alternative route are not unknown to the connoisseur. The climbs follow each other fast and I expect that it will be a war of attrition.”
The leader will be assisted in this one-day race by Riejanne Markus, Teuntje Beekhuis, Anouska Koster, Karlijn Swinkels and Julie Van de Velde. “With the team we have done a joint preparation with recons of the Ardennes triptych”, Vos said. “It is nice to have seen the courses and to work well with the team towards the upcoming goals. We are ready to take it on.”
Amstel Gold Race (18/04)
Julie van de Velde