Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (left) and Tour runner-up Andy Schleck enjoy the company of dolphins while in Curaçao for the Amstel...
view thumbnail gallery
Fourteen Euro pros to end their 2009 season in Netherlands Antilles sunshine
The 8th Amstel Curaçao Race will take place November 7 on the island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, attracting several of the European peloton's stars to the Caribbean for their final competition of the 2009 season.
Highlighting the start list of the 80-kilometre race will be two-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Astana), a winner of the Amstel Curaçao Race in 2007. Organizer Leo van Vliet is proud that the winner of the Tour de France will be present again. "I have built up a special bond with Contador two years ago," said van Vliet. "Every time I see him at a race, he starts talking about Curaçao. Even after winning the yellow jersey at Verbier! He saw me walking down the mountain and asked his race director to stop to give us a ride down. Besides talking about his great victory that day, we also spoke about Curacao."
Other big names from the 2009 Tour de France include runner-up and white jersey winner Andy Schleck, six-time stage winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC), green jersey winner Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam), fifth place finisher Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) and fan favourite Kenny van Hummel (Skil-Shimano), who attracted much attention in his quest to beat the time cuts each day in the mountains during his Tour debut.
Also scheduled to compete in Curaçao are Dutch national champion Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), former cyclo-cross world champion and Vuelta a España stage winner Lars Boom (Rabobank), 2002 Tour stage winner Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank) and 2009 Vuelta a España revelation Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil).
Scandinavians Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC), Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and Gabriel Rasch (Cervélo TestTeam) plus Spain's Jesus Hernandez (Astana) complete the professional start list in an event open to recreational riders as well.
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed