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Amstel Gold - Race Preview
By Podofdonny
Date: 4/16/2005
Amstel Gold - Race Preview

1966, to football fans it evokes the thoughts of the England World Cup winning football team, to motor racing fans, it was the year Jack Bradham won the Formula One and Jack Nicklaus will be remembered for his golfing skills . But to the cycling fans, 1966 was the Gianni Motta won the Giro , Lucien Aimar the Tour de France , Rudi Altig the World Championships and it was the year the youngest Classic was born.

The youngest Classic the Amstel Gold was first run in 1966 over 305 kilometres, but the following year the distance was reduced to 250 kilometres and it has kept that distance till today.

The parcours of 250 kilometres, with 31 climbs , the Amstel Gold is a classic that is more suited to more lightweight riders, with less complicated roads and not so much cobblestone. But it will have the toughness of this type of race and the battle to achieve the victory of the specialists who have this week marked as the main objective on their schedule.

This 40th edition does not vary from previous editions, with the toughest part in the middle of the race, from kilometre 135 to 160, in which 5 hills are climbed. Here there will be an initial selection and many riders will begin to get left behind. Only the strongest will keep going until the final climbs , 8 in the last 40 kilometres, with the final Cauberg wall, 1 kilometre with an 8% gradient where the favourites will do all they can to shake off their rivals and raise their arms as they cross the finish line. The race takes the riders up this hill three times and it was here that last year's winner Davide Rebellin shook off Michael Boogerd, after the Dutchman has launched his sprint too early on the final uphill.

The Climbs

1. Maasberg at 11.1 km, cobble
Height: 60 metres Length: 210 metres Slope: 8 percent

2. Adsteeg, at 22.3 km, asphalt
Height: 110 metres Length: 620 metres Slope: 4 percent

3. Laange Rarberg, at 30.1 km, asphalt
Height: 130 metres Length: 1070 metres Slope: 6 percent

4. Berseweg, at 45.7 km, cobble
Height: 180 metres Length: 2000 metres Slope: 5 percent

5. Sibbergrubbe, at 57.8km, asphalt
Height: 145 metres Length: 1760 metres Slope: 5 percent

6. Cauberg, at 63.7 km, asphalt
Height: 130 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 8 percent

7. Wolfsberg, at 86.7 km, asphalt
Height: 185 metres

8. Lorberg, at 91.6 km, asphalt
Height: 218 metres Length: 1500 metres Slope: 6 percent

9. Schweibergerweg, at 99.9 km, asphalt
Height: 190 metres Length: 2400 metres Slope: 4 percent

10. Camerig, at 107.2 km
Height: 270 metres Length: 2280 metres Slope: 6 percent

11. Drielandenpunt, at 121.1 km, asphalt
Height: 320 metres Length: 2250 metres Slope: 5 percent

12. Gemmenich, at 119.1 km, asphalt
Height: 270 metres Length: 1400 metres Slope: 7 percent

13. Vilgenerbos, at 125.7 km, asphalt
Height: 275 metres Length: 2000 metres Slope: 5 percent

14. Eperheide, at 135.9 km, asphalt
Height: 210 metres Length: 1400 metres Slope: 5 percent

15. Gulperberg, at 142.9 km, asphalt
Height: 155 metres Length: 600 metres Slope: 10 percent

16. van Plettenbergweg, at 149.1 km, asphalt
Height: 130 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 4 percent

17. Grachtstraat, Eyserweg, at 150.7 km, asphalt
Height: 200 metres Length: 2100 metres Slope: 5 percent

18. St. Remigiusstraat - Huls, 155.3 km, asphalt
Height: 200 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 8 percent

19. Vrakelberg - Kruishoeveweg, at 159.6 km, asphalt, gravel
Height: 170 metres Length: 300 metres Slope: 6 percent

20. Sibbergrubbe, 168.3 km, asphalt
Height: 145 metres Length: 1760 metres Slope: 5 percent

21. Cauberg - Vilterweg, at 173.5 km, asphalt
Height: 130 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 8 percent

22. Geulhemmerberg, at 176.8 km, asphalt
Height: 120 metres Length: 800 metres Slope: 7 percent

23. Bemelerberg-Gasthuis, at 196.3 km, asphalt
Height: 120 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 7 percent

24. Wolfsberg, at 212.9 km, asphalt
Height: 185 metres

25. Loorberg, at 217.2 km, asphalt
Height: 218 metres Length: 1500 metres Slope: 6 percent

26. Gulperbergweg, at 223.1 km, asphalt
Height: 155 metres Length: 600 metres Slope: 10 percent

27. Kruisberg, at 228.9 km, poor asphalt
Height: 160 metres Length: 700 metres Slope: 8 percent

28. Eyserbosweg, at 231.1 km, poor asphalt
Height: 180 metres Length: 900 metres Slope: 11,5 percent

29. Fromberg - Afvaartweg, at 234.6 km, asphalt
Height: 165 metres Length: 1600 metres Slope: 5 percent

30. Keutenberg, at 239.7 km, asphalt
Height: 160 metres Length: 1200 metres Slope: 8 percent

31. Cauberg, at 251.1 km, asphalt - Finish
Height: 130 metres Length: 1000 metres Slope: 8 percent

Team News


Danilo Di Luca and Franco Pellizotti will captain Liquigas-Bianchi in the second section of the Classics of the north. In the Amstel Gold Race (next Sunday, April 17) the green-Celeste team will also feature Albasini, Calcagni, Carlström, Gerosa, Loda, and Ljungqvist. The team manager: Roberto Amadio.

Di Luca, who won the Vuelta al Paìs Vasco, has been recovering his force this week long: «I went only for some quite short rides (3-4 hours) but for 230-km training behind a motorbike last Wednesday. I had already been in top form in the Vuelta al Paìs Vasco: it would be harmful to strain after such a demanding week. I feel sure of myself as I know to have trained excellently. I think to be in top form».

The Amstel Gold Race is suitable for the “Killer”: «I finished fourth last year and third in 2003: I like the finish on Cauberg. The team support will be decisive the long of the varied Dutch route. They can play two cards: Pellizotti and me… We should be careful: woe betide us if we do not pay attention on the Dutch toboggan.

The most dangerous opponents? Rebellin more than any else and Boogerd too: he will race on home soil and knows all the tricks of the race. Moreover, he is in great form».

T Mobile

Matthias Kessler and Alexander Vinokourov spearhead the T-Mobile assault on the biggest prize in Dutch cycling. Kessler feels at home on the rolling parcours - the German rider finished fifth and sixth in the last two editions of the hilly classic, which starts in Maastricht and finishes in Valkenberg.

"There is good depth to our challenge. In Kessler, we have a rider who has already demonstrated how much he likes the parcours here. But it pays to be cautious. What makes the race so tricky is the fact that you never have more than 5km of flatness," reports T-Mobile press officer Luuc Eisenga.

Steffen Wesemann and Erik Zabel are two other riders capable of making their mark on the classic if the race situation plays into their hands. Wese is keen for some payback after his ill-fated efforts to chase down Tom Boonen in last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Meanwhile, Erik Zabel showed at the Tour of Flanders that he can still mix it with the best on the leg-breaking climbs of the Northern Classics.

For Bas Giling, though the race parcours will be familiar territory for the young Dutchman; he lives just five kilometres from Maastricht and knows every climb and curve along the 250km route that criss-crosses Limburg, the hilly southern region sandwiched between Germany and Belgium.

"I know every climb on this course. I train regularly on these hills," says Giling, whose strong rides in recent weeks have earned him the nod of approval from sporting director Mario Kummer.

Rolf Aldag, Stephan Schreck and the Russian Sergey Ivanov round out the T-Mobile roster in the eighth race in the current ProTour series

T Mobile for Amstel - Rolf Aldag (36), Bas Giling (22/Netherlands), Sergey Ivanov (30/Russia), Matthias Kessler (25) Stephan Schreck (26), Alexander Vinokourov (31/Kazakhstan) Steffen Wesemann (34), Erik Zabel (34)

Lampre News

Alessandro Ballan, after his return from the Roubaix, was accompanied by the Team Doctor, Dr. Pallini, to the medical studio of Doctor Paolicchi in Pisa, to be given a medical check up for the problem with the tendon on the right knee.

Doctor Paolicchi, having carried out a scan, has found a bursitis of the of the right knee and has consequently prescribed the Lampre-Caffita rider rehabilitation therapy using laser and ultra-sound.

For Ballan it is however confirmed that he will participate in the next Amstel Gold Race.

The General Manager Giuseppe Saronni is in agreeance with the technical staff of the team that the riders to be selected for the Amstel Gold Classic are as follows One day race, 250km with the start in Maastricht and the finish in Valkenburg. Classification UCI: Pro Tour.

Lampre team - Alessandro Ballan, GianLuca Bortolami, Salvatore Commesso, Gerrit Glomser, David Loosli, Daniele Righi, Gorazd Stangelj, Patxi Vila

Team Sports Director: Guido Bontempi

Team Barloworld

Astarloa expects to make his comeback

Former world champion Astarloa hopes to be recovered before the Amstel Gold Race and to make his comeback in the peloton. The leader of Barloworld is suffering from a serious injury to his wrist and because of that he missed almost the entire spring season. The Spaniard who won the rainbow jersey in Hamilton hopes to be back in shape in time for the most important Dutch classic.

Peter van Petegem (Davitamon-Lotto) calls off Amstel Gold

The consequences of his crash in Paris-Roubaix, which forced him to leave the race at 100 km before the finish, are still giving the Flemish rider too much trouble. Last year, Peter van Petegem finished fifth in the Amstel Gold Race. At the moment, he cannot train because of the numerous grazes and an injury to his left leg. "I don't expect to be fully recovered before Sunday", says van Petegem.

Start List

1 Rebellin, Davide
2 Moletta, Andrea
3 Scholz, Ronny
4 Wegmann, Fabian
5 Wrolich, Peter
6 Zberg, Markus
7 Haussler, Heinrich
8 Ziegler, Thomas
Strauss, Marce
Zberg, Bel

11 Baguet, Serge
12 Van Bon, Leon
13 Vansummeren, Johan
14 Vierhouten, Aart
15 Brandt, Christophe
16 Leukemans, Bjorn
17 Merckx, Axel
18 Vanhecke, Preben
Aerts, Mario
Moerenhout, Koos

21 De Weert, Kevin
22 Bettini, Paol
23 Lotz, Marc
24 Sinkewitz, Patrik
25 Tankink, Bram
26 Verbrugghe, Rik
27 Engels, Addy
28 Pozzato, Filipp
Bramati, David
Nuyens, Nick
Van Goolen, Jurgen

31 Arvesen, Kurt-Asle
32 Gusev, Vladimir
33 Peron, Andrea
34 Piil, Jacob Storm
35 Schleck, Frank
36 Sørensen, Nicki
37 Voigt, Jens
38 Basso, Ivan
Calvente Gorbas, Manuel
Johansen, Allan
Luttenberger, Peter
Müller, Christian

Euskaltel - Euskadi
41 Camano Ortuzar, Iker
42 Etxebarria Arana, Unai
43 Fernandez, Koldo
44 Isasi Flores, Inaki
45 Landaluze Intxaurraga, Inigo
46 Sanchez Gonzalez, Samuel
47 Irizar Aranburu, Markel
48 Gonzalez Larranaga, Gorka
Albizu Lizaso, Joseba
Luenga Celaya, Antón

Illes Balears - Caisse d´Epargne
51 Garcia Acosta, José Vicente
52 Julia Cegarra, Jose Cayetano
53 Mancebo Perez, Francisco
54 Reynes, Vicente
55 Valverde Belmonte, Alejandro
56 Zandio Echaide, Xabier
57 Arrieta Lujambio, José Luis
58 Pradera Rodriguez, Mikel
Gutierrez Palacios, José Ivan
Osa Eizaguirre, Aitor

Liberty Seguros - Würth Team
61 Barredo Llamazales, Carlos
62 Etxebarria Alkorta, David
63 Jäksche, Jörg
64 Paulinho, Sergio Miguel Moreira
65 Serrano Rodriguez, Marcos Antonio
66 Vicioso Arcos, Angel
67 Nozal Vega, Isidro
68 De Kort, Koen

Saunier Duval - Prodir
71 Dominguez, Juan Carlos
72 Gomez Marchante, José Angel
73 Jeker, Fabian
74 Mori, Manuele
75 Rodriguez Oliver, Joaquin
76 Ventoso Alberdi, Francisco J.
77 Zaballa Gutierrez, Constantino
78 Zaugg, Oliver
De La Fuente, David
Edo Alsina, Angel
Garate, Juan Manuel
Lobato Elvira, Ruben

Bouygues Telecom
81 Fedrigo, Pierrick
82 Charteau, Anthony
83 Brochard, Laurent
84 Beneteau, Walter
85 Pineau, Jerome
86 Lefevre, Laurent
87 Hary, Maryan
88 Geslin, Anthony
Rous, Didier
Sprick, Matthieu
Voeckler, Thomas
Yus Kerejeta, Unai

Cofidis, le crédit par téléphone
91 Fernandez Bustinza, Bingen
92 Fofonov, Dmitri
93 Marichal, Thierry
94 O’Grady, Stuart
95 White, Matthew
96 Chavanel, Sylvain
97 Edaleine, Christophe
98 Farazijn, Peter
Bertagnolli, Leonardo

Crédit Agricole
101 Joly, Sebastien
102 Kashechkin, Andrey
103 Moreau, Christophe
104 Poilvet, Benoît
105 Wiggins, Bradley
106 Botcharov, Alexandre
107 Le Mevel, Christophe
108 Muravyev, Dimitri
Hushovd, Thor
Talabardon, Yannick
Vogondy, Nicolas

Française des Jeux
111 Casar, Sandy
112 Detilloux, Christophe
113 Finot, Frederic
114 McGee, Bradley
115 Mourey, Francis
116 Veikkanen, Jussi
117 Mengin, Christophe

121 Zabel, Erik
122 Ivanov, Sergei
123 Kessler, Matthias
124 Aldag, Rolf
125 Wesemann, Steffen
126 Vinokourov, Alexandre
127 Schreck, Stephan
128 Giling, Bas
Kohl, Bernard
Schmitz, Bram

Domina Vacanze
131 Celestino, Mirko
132 Gobbi, Michele
133 Grivko, Andriy
134 Iglinskiy, Maxim
135 Ivanov, Ruslan
136 Valoti, Paolo
137 Bertolini, Alessandro
138 Solari, Luca
Bonfanti, Cristian
Vanotti, Alessandro

Fassa Bortolo
141 Sivtsov, Konstantin
142 Kirchen, Kim
143 Gustov, Volodymir
144 Petito, Roberto
145 Giunti, Massimo
146 Facci, Mauro
147 Codol, Massimo
148 Nibali, Vincenzo
Aug, Andrus
Baldato, Fabio

Lampre - Caffita
151 Bortolami, Gianluca
152 Commesso, Salvatore
153 Righi, Daniele
154 Vila Errandonea, Patxi Xabier
155 Ballan, Alessandro
156 Loosli, David
157 Glomser, Gerrit
158 Stangelj, Gorazd
Petrov, Evgeni
Tonti, Andrea

Liquigas - Bianchi
161 Albasini, Michael
162 Calcagni, Patrick
163 Di Luca, Danilo
164 Gerosa, Mauro
165 Ljungqvist, Marcus
166 Loda, Nicola
167 Pellizotti, Franco
168 Carlström, Kjell
Backstedt, Magnus
Mason, Oscar

171 Kroon, Karsten
172 Dekker, Erik
173 Boogerd, Michael
174 Freire Gomez, Oscar
175 Posthuma, Joost
176 Weening, Pieter
177 Den Bakker, Maarten
178 Dekker, Thomas
Boven, Jan
De Jongh, Steven

Phonak Hearing Systems
181 Elmiger, Martin
182 Grabsch, Bert
183 Jalabert, Nicolas
184 Martin Perdiguero, Miguel Angel
185 Moos, Alexandre
186 Murn, Uros
187 Pereiro Sio, Oscar
188 Rast, Gregory
Hunter, Robert
Zampieri, Steve

Discovery Channel
191 Joachim, Benoit
192 Noval, Benjamin
193 Padrnos, Pavel
194 Van Heeswijk, Max
195 Bileka, Volodymyr
196 Hesjedal, Ryder
197 Hincapie, George
198 McCarty, Patrick


Chocolade Jacques - T Interim
201 De Schrooder, Benny
202 Ghyllebert, Pieter
203 Kleynen, Steven
204 Mertens, Pieter
205 Peeters, Jef
206 Stubbe, Tom
207 Wijnants, Maarten
208 Willems, Frederik
Hovelijnck, Kurt
Veuchelen, Frederik

Landbouwkrediet - Colnago
211 D’Hollander, Glenn
212 Sijmens, Nico
213 Van De Walle, Jurgen
214 Verheyen, Geert
215 Verstrepen, Johan
216 Montfort, Maxime
217 Lagutin, Sergey
218 Dewaele, Bert
De Grootte, Thierry

MrBookmaker - SportsTech
221 Coenen, Johan
222 Castresana Del Val, Angel
223 Gardeyn, Gorik
224 Hunt, Jeremy
225 Pronk, Matthé
226 Thijs, Erwin
227 Van Dijk, Stefan
228 Bouquet, Camille
Van De Wouwer, Kurt
Wuyts, Peter

Barloworld - Valsir
231 Arreitunandia, Pedro
232 Astarloa, Igor
233 Carrara, Matteo
234 Cox, Ryan
235 Kannemeyer, Tiaan
236 Joergensen, René
237 Adamsson, Stefan
238 Longho Borghini, Paolo
Cheula, Gian Paolo
Tomi, Giulio

Shimano - Memory Corp.
241 Bos, Marco
242 Doi, yukihiro
243 Schumacher, Stefan
244 Ten Dam, Laurens
245 Van Der Wal, Eelke
246 Van Katwijk, Alain
247 Kano, Tamoya
248 Smink, Julien
Yamamoto, Masamichi

Race Palmares

1966 Jean Stablinski B. Van De Kerckhove J. Hugens
1967 Arie Den Hartog C. Lute H. Steevens
1968 Harry Steevens R. Rosiers D. Van Rijckegem
1969 Guido Reybrouck J. Huysmans E. Merckx
1970 Georges Pintens W. Vanneste A. Dierickx
1971 Frans Verbeeck G. Karstens R. Rosiers
1972 Walter Planckaert W. De Geest J. Zoetemelk
1973 Eddy Merckx F. Verbeeck H. Vanspringel
1974 Gerrie Knetemann Wa. Planckaert W. Godefroot
1975 Eddy Merckx F. Maertens J. Bruyere
1976 Freddy Maertens J. Raas L. Leman
1977 Jan Raas G. Knetemann H. Kuiper
1978 Jan Raas F. Moser J. Zoetemelk
1979 Jan Raas H. Lubberding S. A. Nilsson
1980 Jan Raas A. De Wolf S. Kelly
1981 Bernard Hinault R. De Vlaeminck A. De Wolf
1982 Jan Raas S. Roche G. Braun
1983 Phil Anderson (Aus) J. Bogaert J. Raas
1984 Jacques Hanegraaf K. Andersen P. Versluys
1985 Gerrie Knetemann J. Lieckens J. Broers
1986 Steven Rooks J. Zoetemelk R. Van Holen
1987 Joop Zoetemelk S. Rooks M. Elliott
1988 Jelle Nijdam S. Rooks C. Criquelion
1989 Eric Van Lancker C. Criquelion S. Bauer
1990 Adrie Van Der Poel L. Roosen J. Nijdam
1991 Frans Maassen M. Fondriest D. De Wolf
1992 Olaf Ludwig J. Musseuw D. Konyshev
1993 Rolf Jaermann G. Bugno J. Heppner
1994 Johan Musseuw B. Cenghialta M. Saligari
1995 Mauro Gianetti D. Cassani B. Zberg
1996 Stefano Zanini M. Bettin J. Musseuw
1997 Bjarne Riis A. Tafi B. Zberg
1998 Rolf Jaermann M. Den Bakker M. Bartoli
1999 Michael Boogerd L. Armstrong G. Missaglia
2000 Erik Zabel M. Boogerd M. Zberg
2001 Erik Dekker L. Armstrong S. Baguet
2002 Michele Bartoli S. Ivanov M. Boogerd
2003 Alexandre Vinokourov M. Boogerd D. Di Luca
2004 Davide Rebellin M. Boogerd P. Bettini

Palmares courtesy Velo Palmares

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