Women’s Amstel Gold Race 2024 Race Preview


Women’s Amstel Gold Race History

The Women’s Amstel Gold Race has a fascinating history, divided into two segments. Initially held from 2001 to 2003, with wins by Nicole Cooke, Leontien van Moorsel, and Debby Mansveld, it reached the top tier of the Women’s World Cup in its last year. After disappearing from the calendar, the race made a comeback in 2017, immediately returning to Women’s WorldTour status and has been on the up ever since. The 2023 race introduced an additional 28km and more climbing compared to the previous year, shaking up the field and testing the riders’ endurance and climbing abilities.

The Cauberg climb is the race’s signature challenge, occurring just a few kilometres before the finish line. It’s a decisive moment that favours strong riders who can either break away from the pack or conserve energy for a sprint finish from a small group. This strategic point often leads to thrilling races, with outcomes varying between solo breaks by strong climbers like Kasia Niewiadoma in 2019 and sprint finishes from riders such as Marianne Vos in 2021.

Demi Vollering’s victory in 2023 was a standout moment, showcasing her exceptional ability to tackle the race’s challenges, including the extra climbing and the tactical battle on the Cauberg. With teams worried about the fast finish of SD Worx rider Lotte Kopecky, Demi Vollering stole a march against mostly isolated team leaders. She attacked, got a gap and was simply never caught by the finish line.

Previous Winners

Demi Vollering
Marta Cavalli
Marianne Vos

Women’s Amstel Gold Race 2024 Profile

TV Coverage

Sunday 14th April 2024

Live on Eurosport/Discovery across Europe
Flobikes in USA & Canada
SBS in Australia
L1 will be available freely in Dutch without geo-restrictions

All times in BST

Twitter:#AGR24 or #AGRwomen

Startlist: FirstCycling

Women’s Amstel Gold Race 2024 Contenders

The big favourites to carry on their 2023 dominance at Amstel Gold Race will be SD Worx’s trio of stars. Demi Vollering won last year’s race on her way to an Ardennes triptych of victories. What we’ve seen so far this classics season is that she might find that tougher to repeat this year. She’s done well but hasn’t won her first 5 races this year but the team should try to pivot to her now we’re in Ardennes week. Lotte Kopecky will still be a threat here and will be in a stronger position to finish things off from a small group sprint than Vollering. That should mean we see them try and play things out in a similar way to last season but as other teams look stronger I don’t think we’ll see history repeat itself. Lotte will be in a huge vein of confidence after getting a Roubaix win too. Lorena Wiebes can’t quite be discounted either by those who saw her climbing the Cauberg in the Simac Ladies Tour last season. She absolutely launched up it on each lap, making sure she was near the front and able to just slide back a little through the group by the top. She’s a longer shot than the other 2 but could win the Amstel Gold Race one day.

Lidl-Trek will be a lot happier with how their 2024 season is going and will be excited by the form of Elisa Longo Borghini. She chalked up her 2nd win in a row at Brabantse Pijl and her 3rd in 5 races recently. She’s often made a move at the top of the Cauberg in recent editions but has been pegged back by rivals before getting swamped in the sprint. Her current form gives her more of a shot of pulling that attack off. There’s talk that the team will be working for Shirin van Anrooij in this one, in which case, a counter-attack from her might seal things. She’s also got a quick finish so if she engineer a move that has Vollering in it rather than Kopecky she will fancy her chances. The team also has Amanda Spratt and Lucinda Brand here who have done well at Amstel Gold Race in the past. Both riders were on the 2018 podium, with Spratt taking 4th place a little bit more recently in 2021 too. I suspect both will be elite support here.

I thought Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio might have gone a little better at Brabantse Pijl than she did. The South African was 21st amongst the sprint in the lead group there but maybe it was a case of staying out of trouble with Amstel Gold Race in mind. She’s finished in the top-10 in 4 of her 6 raced editions here. She’s never finished higher than 7th but should be involved in the contest for the win. Teammate Kim Le Court has been one of the breakthrough stars of the Spring with the Mauritian a regular in and around the top-15 spots. That includes finishing 10th at Paris Roubaix Femmes last week too. She might be in a supporting role here but in her current form has the potential to challenge. A later addition to the startlist is Sarah Gigante. The Aussie wasn’t planning on racing here until the morning of the day before, which should support the idea that she will be in a supporting role here.

One of the last races that Kasia Niewiadoma won was Amstel Gold Race back in 2019 when she was able to get a gap and win solo after the Cauberg. The Pole has come close again since, always finishing in the top-10 since her win and finishing 4th and 5th in the last 2 editions. It feels tough for her to win here with faster finishers able to come around by the line but her form is good after finishing 2nd at Flanders. Soraya Paladin is also quietly good here. She has finished 5th in 3 of the last 4  editions, with her ability to sprint well after a hilly race coming in handy. Teammate Ricarda Bauernfeind also has the potential to do well here but I think her main goals are still upcoming and she will be playing a supporting role.

Marianne Vos
Marianne Vos

The 2021 winner Marianne Vos is in some great form this year and will be slightly disappointed she wasn’t able to finish off Paris Roubaix Femmes with a win. She looked very strong in the front group there and had a chance to repeat her wins at Dwars Door Vlaanderen and Omloop het Nieuwsblad. Vos will certainly be a threat again at Amstel Gold Race. She will have some good support from Riejanne Markus, who has finished just outside of the top-10 here in the last couple of years. We’ve also got the return of Anna Henderson after the crash she suffered at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. It might be early to expect a result but she was 5th on the Cauberg stage of the Simac Ladies Tour last year. There’s also Fem van Empel who hasn’t quite taken the road world by storm like Puck Pieterse did this spring but it feels only a matter of time until she does.

3rd at Paris Roubaix Femmes was a great result for Pfeiffer Georgi. The Brit challenged right to the end and pipped Vos off the podium in the final metres. She was 7th here last season and in this form could improve on that in 2024. Teammate Juliette Labous traditionally flits just outside of the Amstel Gold Race top-10 and so maybe isn’t a race-winning contender but will use it to build into the hillier Ardennes classics. The performance of Eleonora Ciabocco at Brabantse Pijl can’t be ignored either, she took a strong 7th place in that race for her best result of the 2024 season.

Silvia Persico is back after missing her defence at Brabantse Pijl due to a family issue. The Italian sneaked into 9th place here last season and that feels like a likely finishing position again with the bulk of her best results this year being in that sort of range too. Teammate Sofia Bertizzolo often goes well here but her form is so scratchy at the moment. 14th at Classic Brugge-De Panne is her only top-30 result since January.

Mavi Garcia can certainly climb the Cauberg well and often finds herself in the front group at Amstel Gold Race. The weakness will always be the sprint finish and that prevents her from a much higher finish. She was 6th in the 2021 and 2022 editions and that feels like her ceiling. Teammate Alexandra Manly did very well at Brabantse Pijl, taking 3rd spot and her best results since the Aussie Nationals this year. We hadn’t seen her on the podium of a non-nationals race since the Tour Down Under at the start of the 2022 season. In this form, she might be able to hang on to the favourites on the Cauberg and sprint well at the end. I think she might be a chase group that needs some luck to rejoin the very front of the race post-Cauberg though.

Grace Brown
Grace Brown

FDJ-Suez will have to do their usual tactics at the moment which is to attack. Grace Brown was 6th in last year’s Amstel Gold Race and that would play out as a great result for the team this year without Uttrup Ludwig or Cavalli on the startlist. Amber Kraak is going to be on a high still after finishing 5th at Paris Roubaix Femmes. The Dutch rider will be looking for a repeat and should form a strong attacking pair with Brown here.

I can see how Yara Kastelijn might be able to do well here with a fast ascent of the Cauberg possible for her. We know about her cyclocross background but she has the sort of punch that is perfect for a climb like the Cauberg which is short and sweet. Teammate Christina Schweinberger will be racing the Amstel Gold Race for the first time but has been a consistent threat for a while now. Maybe overshadowed this spring by the race-winning threat of Puck Pieterse, Schweinberger should get a chance to deliver here now.

Ruth Edwards might go well here for Human Powered Health and twice finished in the top 20 before her sabbatical. She’s had good results on her return with 3rd at Trofeo Oro in Euro and 4th in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race as her peaks. Teammate Linda Zanetti is a bit of a long wildcard to do well, largely based on vibes, but the Swiss rider is a race-winning one-day racer below the WWT level and surely eventually a big result will come. 

Arlenis Sierra
Arlenis Sierra

Despite having strong riders, there’s not much in the past results at Amstel Gold Race to indicate a good finish. You might think that Arlenis Sierra would be well suited to a hilly race with a sprint finish but the Cuban only has a best result of 40th in the last couple of years and you have to go back to 2018 now to see her 11th place. Floortje Mackaij seems to consistently finish in that 20-35th bracket which is both up there but not quite results to shout about either. There’s a bit of hope in Olivia Baril who was 22nd in 2022 and is riding much more strongly in 2024.

Simone Boilard is coming back into form again with a 20th place at Brabantse Pijl this week. Comfortable in the main group but just beaten to placings by riders with a faster sprint. She has gone well in the hillier classics after getting the season off to a good start with top-10 results in Mallorca. The Canadian could go well here.

EF Education-Cannondale will probably be looking at Letizia Borghesi with the Italian a regular in the top 20 at recent races. 13th at Paris Roubaix Femmes was backed up with 18th at Brabantse Pijl as she appears to be in some good form at the moment. She should get support from Kristen Faulkner who has twice finished in the top-20 at Amstel Gold Race in the 2 editions The American has raced. She was a DNS at Brabantse Pijl so hopefully is in good condition for this one. There’s also Coryn Labecki who was 9th here as recently as 2022 but she is in more of a road captain role now. There is no Labecki or Faulkner in the end but there’s the return to racing of Veronica Ewers to look forward to. We’ve not seen the American since racing Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and she will be using this race to get the legs going again. I think temper expectations here but she will come good.

Women’s Amstel Gold Race 2024 Outsiders

Eline van Rooijen
Eline van Rooijen

Coop-Repsol will be hoping that one of India Grangier or Eline van Rooijen can deliver them a result. Grangier continues to finish around 20th in races this season with 24th at Brabantse Pijl this week continuing that trend. The French rider has been consistent which hopefully bodes well for a really strong result soon. Eline van Rooijen is just coming into form herself now with 15th-place finishes at both Ronde de Mouscron and Scheldeprijs.

Liv Jayco-AlUla’s Caroline Andersson will be on to keep an eye on. The Swede is targeting the Ardennes Classics this season and got off to a strong start with 12th at Brabantse Pijl in mid-week. She’s been solid all year so far as well to be fair, with plenty of top-20 positions across a variety of races like Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Strade Bianche.

Justine Ghekiere might be behind Moolman-Pasio and Le Court here so might be in a supporting role rather than a strong finishing one. The Belgian finished 8th at Brabantse Pijl though this week and will surely get some confidence from taking the best result of her season so far.

Nikola Noskova has shown that she climbing well at the moment with 7th at Trofeo Oro in Euro and then 17th at the WWT level Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The Czech rider has always been good on the steep gradients and might be able to get a strong result after the final ascent of the Cauberg.

Margot Vanpachtenbeke once again showed by Brabantse Pijl is her race with a 10th place to go with the breakout 5th place she took in the 2023 race. That bodes well going into this weekend. Almost all of the VolkerWessels line-up could do something but I’m going to mention local rider Quinty Schoens who comes from the Limburg region where the Amstel Gold Race takes place. She was 17th at Ronde de Mouscron and her ceiling might be similar to that here.

Top 3 Prediction