2021 Amstel Gold

Julian Alaphilippe, Primoz Roglic, Top Five Favorites For 2021 Amstel Gold

Julian Alaphilippe, Primoz Roglic, Top Five Favorites For 2021 Amstel Gold

Classics and GC stars are set to clash at Amstel Gold. These are the top five favorites.

Apr 14, 2021 by Rebecca Reza
MVDP's Unbelievable Amstel Gold Win

The cobbles are behind us, as the peloton prepares for the first of the Ardennes Classic races – Amstel Gold. 

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The Ardennes Classics are characterized by their hilly parcours which bring together classics specialists and GC contenders alike. While Amstel Gold is held in the rolling Dutch countryside, not the Belgian Ardennes, it is the first classic of the season to trade cobbles for climbs. 

Defending champion, Mathieu Van Der Poel will not contest the 2021 edition of Amstel Gold, as he turns his attention to the mountain bike, and his ultimate goal of winning the mountain bike race this summer in the Tokyo Olympics. 

There are plenty of other top contenders for the 219km race expected on the start line in Maastricht. Below are FloBikes' top five picks for contenders who might raise a glass of lager on the podium this Sunday.  

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step)

The current World Champion has had a busy Classics season thus far, helping his teammate Kasper Asgreen to an impressive win last week at the Tour of Flanders. Deceuninck – Quick Step has shown their signature moves and tactic prowess in the Classics this season, winning the opening Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with Davide Ballerini, and another win by Asgreen at E3 Saxo Bank. 

While Julian Alaphilippe continues to impress in the cobbled classics, the hilly Ardennes are where he should shine. In the 2019 Amstel Gold Race, the Frenchman led the race into the finishing stretch with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premiere Tech) only to be caught by the rampaging Mathieu van der Poel. Will Alaphilippe finish the job in 2021? 


Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma)

Hot off his win at the Tour of the Basque Country, Roglic has seemingly rebounded from his stage-eight meltdown at Paris-Nice. He left Spain with the overall win as well as victories in the points and mountain classifications. 

Sunday will be his debut at Amstel Gold but nobody will doubt what he can do in the Ardennes classics after his 2020 Liège – Bastogne – Liège victory. Jumbo – Visma will also have Wout Van Aert as a second option, along with Jonas Vingegaard who finished second to Roglic in Spain. 


Jakob Fuglsang (Astana – Premiere Tech)

Jakob Fuglsang makes his return to the Ardennes Classics after skipping them in favor of the Giro d'Italia last year. Like Alaphilippe, Fuglsang will be seeking revenge after being caught in the final moments of the 2019 edition of Amstel Gold. 

The Danish veteran is confident heading into his 10th participation of Amstel Gold, after racing in both the Tour of the Basque Country and Tirreno-Adriatico in his lead up to Sunday. 

In the hunt for his first victory this season, he chose to skip the Tour of Flanders to arrive fresh. Fuglsang specializes in the hilly Ardennes, with his best results occurring in 2019 where he was third at Amstel Gold, second at La Flèche Wallonne and victorious at Liège – Bastogne – Liège. He stated the trio of races is his early season objective once again before his focus shifts to the Tour de France this summer.   

Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers)

The neo-pro has attacked his first season with INEOS with full steam, after an impressive top five at Strade Bianche. The team has yet to confirm their lineup for Amstel Gold, though preliminary start lists show an impressive squad for Sunday’s race. After his podium finish at Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne and victory at Brabantse Pijl, Pidcock appears primed for the Ardennes. 

Pidcock will likely be joined by Grand Tour Champions Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart as INEOS hopes to win Amstel Gold for the first time. 

Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo Visma)

Wout Van Aert has chosen to extend his spring classics campaign into the Ardennes this year following the announcement of Paris-Roubaix's postponement. The Belgian superstar will likely share leadership with Primoz Roglic, but the hilly parcours shouldn't stand in Van Aert's way. 

Van Aert has been a fixture in the front of the classics all year, but Gent-Wevelgem has been his only victory thus far. He was distanced by Mathieu van der Poel and Kasper Asgreen in the finish of the Tour of Flanders, and did not have the legs to contend with Tom Pidcock's sprint at Brabantse Pijl, begging the question if the Belgian is not as sharp this year as he was in 2020. Whatever the case, it is a near certainty that he will be a key player this Sunday, giving Jumbo Visma two powerful cards to play in the finale.