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Amstel Gold Race: iconic images

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US Postal and Rabobank lead the field in 2003

US Postal and Rabobank lead the field in 2003
(Image credit: AFP)
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Armstrong on the attack. Spot a young Vino in Casino colours in the background

Armstrong on the attack. Spot a young Vino in Casino colours in the background
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Michael Boogerd beats Lance Armstrong to the line in 1999

Michael Boogerd beats Lance Armstrong to the line in 1999
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Michael Boogerd won in 1999. He would never reach the top step of the podium again

Michael Boogerd won in 1999. He would never reach the top step of the podium again
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bartoli was in the form of his life in the late 1990s

Bartoli was in the form of his life in the late 1990s
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Johan Museeuw and Michele Bartoli on the start line in 1998

Johan Museeuw and Michele Bartoli on the start line in 1998
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Michele Bartoli was never at this best after a bad crash at Mapei but had enough in him to win a few more Classics

Michele Bartoli was never at this best after a bad crash at Mapei but had enough in him to win a few more Classics
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Óscar Freire (Rabobank) on the attack in 2008

Óscar Freire (Rabobank) on the attack in 2008
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Igor González de Galdeano strikes out for ONCE

Igor González de Galdeano strikes out for ONCE
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Peter van Petegem (Lotto) leading the World Cup

Peter van Petegem (Lotto) leading the World Cup
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton make the most of the fine spring conditions

The peloton make the most of the fine spring conditions
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mark Scanlon back in 2004, riding for AG2R

Mark Scanlon back in 2004, riding for AG2R
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Frank Vandenbroucke on the front in 2004

Frank Vandenbroucke on the front in 2004
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Casino were on a different planet in 1998. Here Rolf Järmann takes the biggest win of his life

Casino were on a different planet in 1998. Here Rolf Järmann takes the biggest win of his life
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) climbing

Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) climbing
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The last Dutch winner: Erik Dekker in 2001

The last Dutch winner: Erik Dekker in 2001
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Laurent Brochard (AG2R)

Laurent Brochard (AG2R)
(Image credit: AFP)
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Michael Boogerd would always target the race

Michael Boogerd would always target the race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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An early crash in the race

An early crash in the race
(Image credit: AFP)
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Bjarne Riis winning the race with a long solo move

Bjarne Riis winning the race with a long solo move
(Image credit: AFP)
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Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre-Daikin) and Rabobank rider hit the deck

Gabriele Missaglia (Lampre-Daikin) and Rabobank rider hit the deck
(Image credit: AFP)
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Rolf Aldag now a DS at HTC during his riding days.

Rolf Aldag now a DS at HTC during his riding days.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Lance Armstrong riding Amstel in 2003

Lance Armstrong riding Amstel in 2003
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bettini back in 2007

Bettini back in 2007
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Frank Schleck crosses the line in 2006

Frank Schleck crosses the line in 2006
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cunego (Lampre) won in 2008. Since that year he's failed to win a Classic

Cunego (Lampre) won in 2008. Since that year he's failed to win a Classic
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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An iconic shot from the race

An iconic shot from the race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) won the race in 2010

Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) won the race in 2010
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Erik Zabel takes the win in 2000

Erik Zabel takes the win in 2000
(Image credit: Sirotti)

The Amstel Gold Race marks the start of the Ardennes Classics this weekend, the trilogy of hilly races that includes Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday and then ends with Liege-Bastogne-Liege next Sunday.

The Dutch race is the youngest spring Classic on the calendar, having first been run in 1966, but it has thrown up some memorable spring racing.

This year the battle centres around last year’s winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and the triumvirate of the Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek). Although there are a host of other star names and outsiders set to line up at the start in Maastricht.

In this iconic set of images we take a look back at highlights from the last 15 years of the race, the winners, the losers and the best action.