2021 Amstel Gold

Amstel Gold Returns In 2021, Ushers In Hilly Ardennes Classics

Amstel Gold Returns In 2021, Ushers In Hilly Ardennes Classics

Sunday marks the beginning of the beloved Ardennes Classics, with the return of the Amstel Gold race. Catch all the action live on FloBikes!

Apr 13, 2021 by Rebecca Reza
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Sunday marks the beginning of the beloved Ardennes Classics, with the return of the Amstel Gold race following the race's 2020 cancellation. 

Join PRO to watch the 2021 men's and women's Amstel Gold Race in the U.S., Canada and Australia!

Race organizers announced a new, radically modified 17km circuit course for both the pro men and women to remain in line with strict Covid-19 restrictions by the local and national governments in the region. Additionally, no fans will be allowed along the course. 

Instead of the traditional route which winds through the hills of Limburg, this year's circuit will remain in the municipalities of Maastricht, Eijsden-Margraten and Valkenburg, home of the infamous Cauberg.

With gradients over 10%, the Cauberg climb will be the primary obstacle on the circuit. The women's race will be decided on the final ascent of the Cauberg, while the men's final lap circumvents the hill en route to the finish.

Amstel Gold is the first of three races that make up the Ardennes Classics – Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. 

Women's Intense Cauberg Finale

The women will kick off the day of racing at 8:30 local time and will complete 7 laps of the circuit, totaling 133 kilometers. 

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon – SRAM Racing) is the defending champion and expected to return to defend her title. Racing fans will remember her attack on the Cauberg in 2019, and the nail biting two-kilometers to the finish in which she held off a chasing Annemiek Van Vleuten. Van Vleuten (Movistar Team) will once again be her biggest threat after her impressive victory at the Tour of Flanders last week.  

Open And Unpredictable Men's Race

The men will begin shortly after mid-day, following the women’s finish. The men race 12 full circuits, plus a modified 13th and final lap, which omits the Cauberg. 

Mathieu Van Der Poel (Alpecin- Fenix) earned his first major victory in road cycling at the 2019 edition, after single handedly chasing down the breakaway riders and soaring past on the finishing stretch to win one of the most spectacular races the sport has seen.

Van der Poel will not defend his title in 2021 as the Dutchman turns his attention to preparing for the Olympics mountain bike race. 

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) step up as the two favorites for the race in van der Poel's absence, but the field is full of contenders who can take advantage of the challenging, yet unpredictable nature of the course.

Grand Tour Contenders Emerge

Amstel Gold often draws many of the grand tour favorites out to test their legs on the punchy climbs, narrow roads, and explosive circuits as they prepare for the Giro d’Italia to come. Esteban Chaves of Team BikeExchange and Primoz Roglic are expected to race. Jakob Fuglsang of Astana – Premiere Tech opted to skip the tour of Flanders to focus on the Ardennes, attempting to add Amstel Gold to his Liège-Bastogne-Liège win from 2019. Richard Carapaz is also expected, hoping to earn INEOS Grenadiers their first victory at Amstel Gold. 

Descending will prove just as important as the steep and punchy climbs riders will face throughout the day. The dramatic change to the course, with the multiple circuits of these challenging climbs will make for a thrilling day of racing for both the men and women of the pro peloton before a new champion is crowned for 2021.