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Van der Poel favorite for Amstel Gold Race

The cobblestone classics have wrapped up, paving the way for the Ardennes classics, and that includes the Amstel Gold Race. 

In 2019, Mathieu van der Poel made cycling history with a phenomenal comeback, and in both 2021 and 2022, the Amstel Gold Race was decided by a photo finish that to the naked eye provided no clear winner.

Last year, it was Tadej Pogacar who soloed to victory in a phenomenal manner. The world-class rider opened the debates early in the race, gradually thinned out an elite group, dropped Ben Healy and Tom Pidcock on the Keutenberg, and completed a 29-kilometer solo.

The 2024 course can be seen as a blueprint of the 2023 one. The organization has again chosen three loops, with one that even heads all the way to Belgium. Then comes the popular loop in Limburg, which includes all the well-known (and often steep) climbs, and finally, we have the final loop, in which the Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg are the only two obstacles.

With no less than 33 (!) climbs, it’s a day to be cautious. Popular climbs such as the Eyserbosweg, Keutenberg, and Cauberg are all in the last 45 kilometers, setting the stage for a big spectacle.

The finish has not been at the Cauberg for several years now. Instead, the line is drawn in Berg en Terblijt, where the Bemelerberg plays a crucial role in the final kilometer, which has often led to a sprint among the few remaining contenders. However, based on the participant list, ruling out a sprint finish might be premature (more details on that later).

The Alpecin-Deceuninck rider looked ahead to both Amstel and next Sunday’s Liege-Bastonge-Liege event, saying: "Now it's a question of keeping that form for the next 10 days. And that will be necessary because both in Amstel and next Sunday in Liège-Bastogne-Liège we will have a field of competitors with other, perhaps fresher riders."

There had been speculation that the Dutchman would not take part in Liege-Bastogne-Liege to keep his powder dry for other events, but it is now clear he is chasing more success in near future. He added: "Of course, I like to return to the Amstel Gold Race. My victory in 2019 is one I will never forget.

***** Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
**** Benoit Cosnefroy (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale), Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla)
*** Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious), Maximilian Schachmann (BORA-hansgrohe) and Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech)
** Quinten Hermans (all Alpecin-Deceuninck), Valentin Madouas, (Groupama-FDJ), Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny), Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost)

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2024 Amstel Gold Climbs

The Maasberg - 241 km to go - 700 meters - 3.7% average - maximum 10%
Adsteeg - 220 km to go- 700 meters - 4.7% average - maximum 8%
Bergseweg - 207 km to go - 2600 meters - 3.4% average - maximum 8.4%
Korenweg - 203 km to go - 900 meters - 5.7% average - maximum 10.2%
Nijswillerweg - 198 km to go - 1300 meters - 2.7% average - maximum 5.2%
Rijksweg N278 from Gulpen - 189 km to go - 3000 meters - 2.9% average - maximum 4.9%
Wolfsberg - 169 km to go - 800 meters - 4.4% average - maximum 10%
Loorberg - 165 km to go - 1600 meters - 5.5% average - maximum 9%
Schweiberg - 154 km to go - 2900 meters - 3.9% average - maximum 10%
Camerig (west) - 147 km to go - 3100 meters - 4.7% average - maximum 10%
Drielandenpunt - 135 km to go - 3700 meters - 3.8% average - maximum 9%
Gemmenicherweg - 130 km to go - 900 meters - 6.4% average - maximum 10%
Vijlenerbos - 127 km to go - 1800 meters - 5.1% average - maximum 11%
Eperheide - 118 km to go - 2300 meters - 4.5% average - maximum 10%
Gulperberg (east) - 109 km to go - 600 meters - 9.8% average - maximum 15%
Plettenberg - 106 km to go - 1000 meters - 4.2% average - maximum 8%
Eyserweg - 103 km to go - 2100 meters - 4.4% average - maximum 9%
Huls - 99 km to go - 1000 meters - 7.7% average - maximum 12%
Vrakelberg - 94 km to go - 600 meters - 7.7% average - maximum 13%
Sibbegrubbe - 86 km to go - 2000 meters - 4.1% average - maximum 6%
Cauberg - 81 km to go - 900 meters - 7% average - maximum 12%
Geulhemmerweg - 76 km to go - 1000 meters - 6.2 average - maximum 10%
Heerderberg - 70 km to go - 1800 meters - 3.6% average - maximum 5.9%
Bemelerberg - 66 km to go - 1200 meters - 4% average - maximum 6%
Loorberg (2nd time) - 51 km to go - 1600 meters - 5.5% average - maximum 9%
Gulperberg west - 43 km to go - 1000 meters - 5.8% average - maximum 18%
Kruisberg - 39 km to go - 800 meters - 8.4% average - maximum 17%
Eyserbosweg - 37 km to go - 1100 meters - 8.1% average - maximum 16%
Fromberg - 33 km to go - 1600 meters - 4% average - maximum 9%
Keutenberg - 28 km to go - 1700 meters - 5.6% average - maximum 22%
Cauberg (2nd time) - 18 km to go - 900 meters - 7% average - maximum 12%
Geulhemmerweg (2nd time) - 13 km to go - 1000 meters - 6.2 average - maximum 10%
Bemelerberg (2nd time) - 7 km to go - 1200 meters - 4% average - maximum 6%

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