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Amstel Gold Race attracts the stars for 50th edition

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The peloton climb during Amstel Gold Race

The peloton climb during Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) salutes to three Amstel Gold Race victories

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) salutes to three Amstel Gold Race victories (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The map of the 2015 Amstel Gold Race

The map of the 2015 Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Amstel Gold Race)
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The 2014 Amstel Gold Race

The 2014 Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton during Amstel Gold Race

The peloton during Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodriguez in obvious pain after crashing during the Amstel Gold Race

Joaquim Rodriguez in obvious pain after crashing during the Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roman Kreuziger solos to victory at Amstel Gold

Roman Kreuziger solos to victory at Amstel Gold (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) before the race got underway

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) before the race got underway (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quickstep)

Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quickstep) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) goes deep in training.

Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) goes deep in training. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) makes his winning attack over the Cauberg at the 2014 Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) makes his winning attack over the Cauberg at the 2014 Amstel Gold Race (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat)

Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Damiano Cunego (Nippo - Vini Fantini) in his new colours

Damiano Cunego (Nippo - Vini Fantini) in his new colours (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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The final podium of Bauke Mollema in second Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran in third

The final podium of Bauke Mollema in second Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Rigoberto Uran in third (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The Amstel Gold Race kicks off the Ardennes week of WorldTour Classics, with defending champion Philippe Gilbert leading the list of big-name rider in action as he looks for a fourth victory on the roads near his home and where he became world champion in 2012.

This year's Amstel Gold Race is the 50th edition of the Dutch race, and the third since the finish was moved away from the top of the Cauberg and nearly two kilometres down the road. At 258 kilometres long, the Netherlands' biggest one-day race packs a punch with 34 climbs – or bergs – crammed in, making for more than 4,000 metres of climbing. The Cauberg is covered four times and is always important but any winner needs to have excellent form and the right team tactics. 

Beginning in Maastricht, the route heads immediately north towards the first ascents of the day, the Slingerberg and Adsteeg, which the riders must tackle after less than 15 kilometres of racing. Once over the Adsteeg, the race begins its move south, with a brief diversion west to take in the Sibbergrubbe before entering a series of ever decreasing circuits.

Philippe Gilbert launches the race winning move on the Cauberg in 2014 

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