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Niewiadoma aims to bring winning punch back to Amstel Gold Race

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) won the 2019 Amstel Gold Race
Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) won the 2019 Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Getty Images)

Kasia Niewadoma (Canyon-SRAM) would like to mimic last year's race programme when she took an outstanding victory at the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition

The Polish all-rounder believes that her ability to sustain high watts on multiple punchy ascents is what give her an edge at the Ardennes Classics. 

"It worked out very well for me last year," Niewiadoma told Cyclingnews

"My mindset is completely ready to start racing in Belgium and Holland, on the crazy hectic and nervous spring Classics."

Niewiadoma will begin her season at the Omloop Het Niewsblad this month before moving on to Strade Bianche, the second leg of the Women's WorldTour in March. The Italian race is held on a loop that includes gravel roads and short climbs around Siena, and it's one of her favourite events. She has placed on the podium four times but has never won the Italian Classic.

"Many times I was very close to the victory at Strade Bianche but that has never happened," she said. "So, that will be my first little goal. And then, of course, the spring Classics; the Ardennes are very important to me."

Last year, Niewiadoma was third at Strade Bianche before competing in a full spring Classics campaign and then going on to win Amstel Gold Race.

She attacked on the final climb of the Cauberg, surged away from a select group of 15 riders, and held off solo chaser Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott).

Niewiadoma said that she excels in tough weather conditions and on courses that offer challenging terrain or opportunities for tough racing tactics.

"I feel like my strongest point is that I can repeat efforts and intervals many times without getting really tired," Niewiadoma explained. 

"I would say that in the first hour of a race I'm an average rider; I'm not the fastest or the strongest. In the last hour of the race when everyone is tired, I have the same freshness. I don't tire that much in the one-day races.

"I feel like that's why I won Amstel. There were so many intervals beforehand. I felt like once I accelerated over Cauberg, I still had the same power, whereas a lot of riders were already tired and could not sustain the same watts."

The Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition will use the same course as last year: 127km from Maastricht to a final, hilly circuit in nearby Valkenburg. 

Teams for 2020 Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition

Organisers of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition have announced the 23 teams that will take to the start line in Maastricht, in the Netherlands, on April 19. There are four more teams than last year, with 15 teams that have automatic start invitations.

The UCI introduced the new two-tier teams system this year, with eight teams acquiring WorldTeam licences: Canyon-SRAM, Ale BTC Ljubljana, CCC-Liv, Mitchelton-Scott, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope and Movistar Team. All eight teams will be competing in this edition of the race.

In addition, there are seven second-tier Continental teams that have automatic invitations based on their position in the UCI World Ranking. Those teams are Boels Dolmans, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Ceratizit-WNT, Valcar-Travel&Service, Bigla-Katusha, Lotto Soudal Ladies and Cogeas Mettler Look.

Race director Loentien van Moorsel has granted wildcard invitations to eight Continental teams. There will be three teams from Belgium: Multum Accountants-LSK Ladies, Coltcini-Van Eyck Sport and Chevalmeire Cycling. Two Dutch teams were awarded wildcards: Biehler Krush Pro and NXTG Racing. 

Also included in the line-up are CAMS-Tifosi (Great Britain), Astana Women's Team (Kazakhstan) and Hitec Products-Birk Sport (Norway).

"Women's cycling is becoming more and more professional, and from the Amstel Gold Race we contribute to this by appreciating the ladies at world level. The women's race is [partly] driven on the same beautiful course as the men, and in addition I am committed to a good organisation, realistic prizes and starting money, and not to mention sufficient media attention," said Van Moorsel on the event website.

Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the men's and women's Amstel Gold Race, with reports, news and interviews.