2024 Amstel Gold

Amstel Gold Race 2024 Preview: Mathieu Van Der Poel Vs. The World

Amstel Gold Race 2024 Preview: Mathieu Van Der Poel Vs. The World

Mathieu van der Poel versus the world. Back after cleaning house in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix... We preview the Amstel Gold Race 2024.

Apr 11, 2024 by Gregor Brown
Van Der Poel Vs The World: Amstel Gold Race

Amstel Gold Race 2024 Preview

Mathieu van der Poel versus the world. The World Champion is back after cleaning house in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix – but this time it's different in the Amstel Gold Race.

The Dutch one-day classic is Sunday, in the southern part of The Netherlands, in Maastricht. Instead of cobble crunching hard-men, Van der Poel will face a fresh crop of skinny climbers coming in from the Tour of the Basque Country and thirsty souls not only wanting to sip some Amstel, but have another round over the next week in Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

We are going to talk about the Dutch star of Team Alpecin-Deceuninck, go over all the favorites, the courses, and yes, the weather. And no, Tadej Pogacar is not back for more Amstel after his 2023 success.

The Amstel Gold Race 2024 Course

The Amstel Gold Race covers 253 kilometers, or about 157 miles, in the Limburg area and on the roads east of Maastricht, the home of Tom Dumoulin, characterized by short steep climbs and unrelenting road furniture.

Riders must be vigilant all day to navigate the numerous dividers, roundabouts, and climbs, avoiding danger.

The Cauberg is the party point for the Heineken-Amstel loving Dutch fans, like the Arenberg Forest in Paris-Roubaix or Oude Kwaremont in the Tour of Flanders. It used to finish the race, but now it features twice before a small circuit with the Bemelerberg climb at 6km out.

With the Cauberg and Bemelerberg final, the organizer created a race that requires sprint and strength, but also tactics. Of course in 2023, Pogacar did things his way, and launched 36km out.

Favorites For The Amstel Gold Race

Mathieu van der Poel comes into the 2024 Amstel Gold Race as the hands-down favorite after demolishing his rivals in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. In Paris-Roubaix, it was a 59.7km solo attack.

He will need to once again rely heavily on his Alpecin-Deceuninck team to make sure he's protected to get within striking distance if he is to repeat his jaw-dropping 2019 victory.

The rest, though a level below, are seriously strong riders that will offer our world champion much more resistance than what he faced last week on the cobbles.

UAE Team Emirates brings a hit squad with Marc Hirschi, a former Flèche Wallonne winner, an in-form Brandon McNulty, João Almeida, and winner of the Basque Country Juan Ayuso.

Visma-Lease a Bike does not have 2021 winner Wout van Aert, who's still recovering from his Dwars door Vlaanderen crash and only just now showered for the first time in 12 days. It is bringing back Matteo Jorgenson, who recovered after a stellar Flanders ride and being sick, Tiesj Benoot, and Dylan Van Baarle.

Ineos - who like Visma could use some good luck – will pack a punch with Tom Pidcock. After going at it on the cobbles, he's truly in his element here, in tough and technical terrain. Michal Kwiatkowski, a two-time Amstel winner, will back him.

Bahrain with Matej Mohoric and Pello Bilbao. EF Education with last year's breakout rider, Ben Healy, Richard Carapaz and Marijn Van Den Berg. Lidl-Trek no longer relies on cobble star Mads Pedersen, but has Danish Champion and baller Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek).

Who am I leaving out? Benoît Cosnefroy (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale), winner of Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday. Israel with Canadian Mike Woods, Dylan Teuns, Steven Williams, Corbin Strong. And Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla), who's looking to catch a break.

As you can see, Mathieu van der Poel is going to have a tough time to carry on with his winning streak. Backed by a strong Alpecin-Deceuninck team whose only weakness could be that double-denim kit. Let me know your thoughts.

SD Worx Leads Favorites For Women's Amstel

On the women's side, it's the SD Worx show. Demi Vollering back to defend. Lotte Kopecky on the heels of her Paris-Roubaix win in the rainbow jersey. And Lorena Wiebes who won recently in Scheldeprijs. A team stacked with talent.

Look for attacks on SD Worx's fortress from Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, and Silvia Persico.

A Beautiful Day In Maastricht

It's a perfect day to ride your bike on Sunday. For the Amstel Gold Race 2024, expect temperatures from 7 to 14°C or 44 to 58°F. Not much in the way of wind is forecasted, with only clouds spoiling the show.

How To Watch The 2024 Amstel Gold Race

The Amstel Gold Race will be live and on demand for FloBikes viewers in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. And for everyone worldwide, we have highlights, interviews, and comprehensive race coverage.

The cycling classics cast has changed, but it is still Mathieu van der Poel, the world champion, out to defend attacks on his rainbow jersey in this Sunday's Amstel Gold Race.