This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
The Amstel Gold Race is the first of the three Ardennes classics, and its 251km course is an endless series of climbs – 34 in total. 29-year-old Jürgen Roelandts of Team Lotto Soudal wasn’t a contender for the win, but as a strong classics rider he had an important role to play working for his teammates. It was his efforts at the beginning of the final ascent of the Cauberg that set Tony Gallopin up for an eventual sixth place, while Roelandts himself finished 66th, 1:32 down on winner Michal Kwiatkowski. After the race, we gave Roelandts' still-dirty bike the once over outside the team's hotel in Maastricht.
Despite the lumpy course, Roelandts rode the race (his first Amstel Gold, as it happens) on a Noah SL, the revised version of Ridley’s flagship aero bike launched at last year’s Eurobike. With no cobbles to contend with and a good weather forecast, this was a fairly standard build with a Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic groupset, 50mm deep Bora Ultra wheels and 25mm Continental Pro Ltd tubulars. There were no concessions on the gearing either, with a standard double up front and an 11-25t cassette.
It was notable that while Roelandts' bike carried the cadence sensor, crank magnet and mounting bracket for an SRM power meter, the unit itself was not actually fitted. Asked about this, a team mechanic was quite blunt: the Noah SL frame isn’t light enough to hit the UCI minimum weight of 6.8kg with the team’s standard equipment, and on a testing parcours the extra weight of a power meter simply wasn’t worth having. BikeRadar wasn’t able to weigh this particular bike, but we were told it was more than 7kg.
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