“Amstel is an open race that demands a strong, powerful rider from start to finish. Last year a good breakaway went early and stayed away until the finish line. With the evenness amongst teams at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same situation happened,” Elena Cecchini.
We start the final week of spring classics with Amstel Gold Ladies race on Sunday 21 April in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The team’s roster for the 126.8km UCI Women’s World Tour race will be the same team that took on Ronde van Vlaanderen: Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Lisa Klein, Kasia Niewiadoma and Alexis Ryan.
The Amstel Gold Ladies race will be followed by La Fléche Wallonne on Wednesday 24 April and Liége-Bastogne-Liége on Sunday 28 April.
Panache and stamina for the Ardennes
In 2018, Alexis Ryan said to win an Ardennes classic you need to have stamina and panache. The American rider finished fifth in last year’s edition.
“I had a great race at Amstel last year. I was in the break for 70km and crossed the line in 5th place, completely spent. I’ve been aiming for this race since I crossed the line last year,” said Ryan.
A total of 19 climbs await the women’s peloton on Sunday. Vrakelbergerweg, Zwartebrugweg, Eyserbosweg and Keutenberg are all early climbs, before three local laps around Valkenburg. Three local laps, three local climbs: the Geulhemmerberg with an average gradient of 8%, the Bemelerberg with 7%, and of course the famous Cauberg. Though less than 1km in length, the 12% slopes cause some leg-burning sensations and after climbing the Cauberg for the third and final time, the peloton has just 1.8km to race to the finish.
Amstel: A character to love
“I spent a lot of time in the Limburg region as a junior and have many great memories. The roads are small and technical, the climbs are short and steep—the kind of riding I love most. Amstel combines everything I admire about cycling with an amazing spectator atmosphere,” added Ryan.
How to follow
When: Sunday 21 April, 2019 | start 10:50CEST | finish 14:26CEST
Where: 127km | Maastricht to Valkenburg, The Netherlands
How: on Twitter with #UCIWWT or livestream on: