Amstel Gold Race 2014
The Dutch Classic Amstel Gold Race has a character all of its own: twisty and narrow roads, short and steep climbs, and crazed orange-clad fans. The first of three Ardennes Classics is a race to watch and one for the riders to add to their palmarès.
The relatively new classic, this year celebrating its 49th edition, starts in Maastricht and ends with four circuits on the Cauberg. The first two times up the 1.5-kilometre climb splits the race into select groups, while the final ascent decides the race winner.
Home teams Belkin and Giant-Shimano will go all out to make their presence felt in this race, but in recent years they have fallen short of the victory. Italians have made this race theirs since Erik Dekker last won for Rabobank and the Netherlands in 2001.