2021 Amstel Gold

Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Five Favorites For Women's Amstel Gold

Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Five Favorites For Women's Amstel Gold

The women will kick off an explosive day of racing for the start of the Ardennes Classic at Amstel Gold in Limburg. Catch all the action live on FloBikes!

Apr 14, 2021 by Rebecca Reza
Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Five Favorites For Women's Amstel Gold

The women will kick off an explosive day of racing and the start of the Ardennes classics at the Amstel Gold Race. 

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

The women have an early start, thanks in part to the circuit-race format that has been implemented in 2021. The women will ride seven laps of the new 17km circuit course that features the Geulhemmerberg at 970m and 7.9% gradient, the Bemelerberg at 900m and 7% and the iconic Cauberg climb 800m in length and peaking at 12% gradient. Unlike the men, the women will race up the Cauberg in their final lap heading to the finish. Upon the women's finish, the men will enter the course for their 13-lap race.

The 2019 edition of the race saw an explosive and nail-biting finish between Annemiek Van Vleuten of then Mitchelton-Scott, and Kasia Niewiadoma of Canyon // SRAM Racing who would go on to celebrate victory. Both are back and favorites once again. FloBikes breaks down their prospects for victory, along with several of their rivals hoping to win the first of the three Ardennes classics.  

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team)

Annemiek Van Vleuten arrives in her native Holland as the clear favorite. The pressure is off her shoulders for a victory after back-to-back wins last week at Dwars Doors Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders, proving her young Spanish team is more than equipped to play the role of the protagonists in the classics. 

The short circuits and punchy climbs should suit her strengths, after an impressive show of force she displayed in her winning move on the Paterberg at Flanders. A move none of her rivals were able to match as they watched her slip away, to earn a win ten years following her first win 2011. 

The 38-year-old has yet to earn victory at Amstel Gold, despite her long list of palmerès. She came close in the last edition in 2019, finishing second in an exciting chase of Kasia Niewiadoma in the final kilometers. Sunday will be her fourth participation.   


Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon // SRAM Racing)

Kasia Niewiadoma will defend her title Sunday, continuing a strong showing in her spring Classics campaign. The Polish rider just recently extended her contract with the team through 2024, allowing her stability to focus on her early season goals in the Ardennes, followed by her target of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. 

She displayed sparks of her strength at Dwars Doors Vlaanderen finishing second to Van Vleuten, rekindling the exciting finish racing fans around the world will remember after her winning attack on the Cauberg at Amstel Gold in 2019. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the legs to fight for contention at Flanders. She has chosen to skip the De Brabantse Pijl Wednesday in order to focus her efforts for Sunday.  

Anna Van Der Breggen (SD Worx)

It is unclear whether Anna Van Der Breggen will be on the starting line on Sunday. Her team confirmed to the Dutch news outlet Wielerflits on Tuesday that the current world champion has been experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, but fortunately has tested negative for Covid-19. 

In 2017 Van der Breggen became the only rider to win all three of the Ardennes Classics in the same year. The Dutch native has had only 3 racing days so far in what she has said to be her final year of racing of her career. She finished top ten in all three, with a victory at the opening Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. 

Should she be forced to skip the race on Sunday, SD Worx will have plenty of other cards to play with Amy Pieters and Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak also expected to race.   


Lizzie Deignan (Trek – Segafredo)

The postponement of the inaugural Women’s Paris-Roubaix sent Lizzie Deignan for a loop. The British rider had planned to peak for the race, but like many, was forced to adjust her early season goals. 

Her Trek – Segafredo team has been a strong and consistent force in the classics. Elisa Longo Borghini came close, finishing second at Strade Bianche and 4th at the Tour of Flanders. The Italian has shown to be on top form, while the American Road Champion Ruth Winder has played a key-supporting role this spring before winning Brabantse Pijl. 

Both Winder and Longo Borghini will be at the start line along with cyclocross world champion Lucinda Brand, who finished second at Amstel Gold in 2018. The team has yet to announce a team leader for the race. Should Deignan feel off on the day, there is no doubt they will have plenty of cards to play. 


Marianne Vos (Jumbo – Visma)

It is hard to believe that Vos is only 33 years of age with the list of palmarès attached to her name. Though she came close at Amstel Gold in 2019, finishing third behind Niewiadoma and Van Vleuten, she has yet to earn victory at the Dutch Classic. 

The adjusted circuit course for this year’s race should suit her strengths, with multiple punchy climbs throughout the day, leading to a potential sprint, just after the final ascent of the Cauberg. She is on good form, after her impressive win at Gent-Wevelgem a couple weeks ago. Jumbo-Visma is lining up a nearly all-Dutch squad for Sunday, hoping to celebrate another victory before the Classics season comes to an end.