The Argos Shimano team is heading into Amstel Gold without a pre-race favourite but will count on Tom Dumoulin and Simon Geschke to provide results. Amstel is the most significant one-day race on the Dutch calendar, famous for its exciting finishes on the Cauberg and the partisan fans who pack the climb.
Although the race has undergone minor alterations, with the finish now replicating the one used for the road races at last year’s world championships, much of the route remains the same with 33 climbs and the Cauberg still the most decisive sector in the race.
Argos will line up with Dumoulin and Geschke as their protected riders. Both finished mid-pack last year but will be given orders to animate the race. Roy Curvers will act as team captain.
“We are happy to have Tom Dumoulin returning to the team after his crash in De Panne,” said sports manager Addy Engels. “The wound on his knee recovered well, and he has been able to do some good training in recent days.
“Also in the Amstel Gold Race we will count on Geschke again, and we have a team of opportunists and attackers who will be given a free hand to pursue their chances. Roy Curvers will play an important role as the captain of the team. With his knowledge of the hills he is of great value.”
Ronde van Gelderland
While the men will compete in a 251-kilometre race, the women’s professional peloton will race the the Ronde van Gelderland, covering a distance of 140 kilometres on the same day. Argos’ squad for the women's race includes the 2010 winner Kirsten Wild, who won Gent-Wevelgem this spring as well as four straight stages at the Energiewacht Tour.
“With Kirsten Wild, we have the winner of the 2010 edition on our team. Last week she already proved that she is in great shape by winning four out of the six stages in the Energiewacht Tour. In addition to Kirsten, Amy Pieters, who also showed her form during the Energiewacht Tour last week, will have protected status as well,” said sports manager Cees-Jan van der Zweep.