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The Ardennes Triple begins in the Netherlands

Amstel Gold Race was first held in 1966 and quickly established itself as the most important race in the Netherlands. Both its position on the calendar (originally between La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège) and its profile filled with short, steep climbs led the race to join the old Ardennes weekend to form the current Ardennes triptych, although geographically the race is not held in the Belgian Ardennes, but in the neighboring Dutch province of Limburg.

The race is currently the first of the three races that make up the triple, and traditional images on the podium include the use of beer for toasts instead of the usual champagne. Since its inception, the race has been sponsored by the Amstel brewery.

Women's Race: Route and favorites

The women's race covers 157 kilometers and 1800 meters of elevation gain. The climbs of the Bemelerberg (0.7 km at 5.4%) and the Cauberg (0.5 km at 9.4%), included in the final circuit that the cyclists must complete 4 times, are the main points of interest in the race.

The start list for the women's race is spectacular. Demi Vollering (1200), Lotte Kopecky (1200), Marianne Vos (1200), Elisa Longo Borghini (1000), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (1000), Shirin Van Anrooij (600), Silvia Persico (800), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (1000), Mavi Garcia (800), Juliette Labous (800), Kristen Faulkner (800), Grace Brown (800), Chloe Dygert (600), or Lorena Wiebes (1200) are some of the most prominent names.

Men's Race: Route and favorites

Unlike the women's race, the decisive part of the men's Amstel does not take place on a circuit, although the entire race takes place in a very small area around the town of Valkenburg. In total, 33 climbs, 253 kilometers, and over 3000 meters of elevation gain make up a tough route ideal for puncheurs.

Mathieu Van Der Poel (800), Juan Ayuso (1000), Thomas Pidcock (1000), Mattias Skjelmose (1000), Pello Bilbao (1000), Richard Carapaz (1000), Warren Barguil (400), Benoît Cosnefroy (400), Matteo Jorgenson (800), Matej Mohorič (600), Marc Hirschi (600), Corbin Strong (600), Maxim Van Gils (400), Joao Almeida (12000), Jasper Philipsen (1200), Ben Healy (400), Tobias Johannesen (600), Romain Grégoire (400), Valentin Madouas (600), Brandon McNulty (800), Neilson Powless (800), Kévin Vauquelin (400), Tiesj Benoot (400), or Lorenzo Rota (400) are some of the top favorites.

Photo: © Amstel Gold Race