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Live coverage

Amstel Gold Race 2019

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Live coverage of the 54th Amstel Gold Race, a 265.7km outing in the Limburg hills in the south of Holland. 

 

Good morning and welcome to the Ardennes Classics!

Riders and teams are in a sunny Maastricht, signing on and going through the last of their pre-race rituals. 

Here's the scene in the square

Mathieu van der Poel, Julian Alaphilippe, Alejandro Valverde, Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews...

Before we get underway, now's the time to have a read of this. 

A little word on the route...

We're rolling, by the way. The riders have left Maastricht's square and are now riding through a short neutralised section before the race proper begins. 

They're off!

The first attacks come and go as the battle for the break heats up.

255km remaining from 265km

They'll hit the Cauberg for the first time after 55 kilometres, and it'll be the sixth climb of the day. Just after that is the finish line, which they'll cross for the first of four times. 

242km remaining from 265km

Three riders break free and open up a small lead, and the counter-attacks come, with five riders jumping across and more trying to do the same.

It's Michael Schär (CCC Team), Nick van der Lijke, (Roompot-Charles), Paolo Simion (Bardiani-CSF), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas Sprengers (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise), Aaron Verwilst (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise), Grega Bole (Bahrain-Merida), Jimmy Janssens (Corendon-Circus). 

240km remaining from 265km

Israel Cycling Academy have missed out and they've launched Tom Van Asbroeck to try and get across.

The peloton have well and truly sat up and are already three minutes back. This is our breakaway. The only question is if Van Asbroeck and another duo of chasers - who have surely left it too late - can get across.

232km remaining from 265km

When was the last time the pre-race favourite was a debutant?

Alaphilippe, by the way, has spoken about the Dutchman and was full of praise. 

While we're on the subject, Tim Wellens has also spoken about Van der Poel. Everyone's talking about him, to be honest. Anyway, Wellens recounts an amusing anecdote a few days ago when his grandma asked if Van der Poel was racing, before saying: 'oh well, it's for second place then'. 

The nine breakaway riders have opened up a lead of 7:30 over the peloton. 

The women's race is also underway. They're 33km in, with 93km to go, and there's a seven-rider breakaway with a lead of five minutes. We'll keep you posted on all the key developments in that one, too. Here's Kirsten Frattini's race preview. 

215km remaining from 265km

The leaders are over the Cauberg and heading to the finish line for the first time.

205km remaining from 265km

Minnaard and Baugnies have made it. There are now 11 in the break.

Philippe Gilbert has won this race four times. If he wins he'll draw level with record-holder Jan Raas on five, but will the transformation that has seen the former world champion go from hilly Classics specialist to cobbled Classics specialist (with wi