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Amstel Gold Race Women - Live Coverage

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Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition.

This is the 6th edition of the race since it was re-booted in 2017

Last year, the pandemic meant that the course had to be changed for this race. This year, elections in France have forced Amstel Gold to swap date with Paris Roubaix, which will take place next weekend. Meaning that this year, the Ardennes Classics are spread across two weeks. 

Defending champion of this race, Marianne Vos, has opted to skip Amstel Gold to focus on Paris Roubaix, where she placed second last year. 

Other notable absences from the startlist are two FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope riders: Brodie Chapman, who has a non-Covid illness, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig who has tested positive for Covid-19. 

10 minutes to go until the neutral rollout is given. The riders begin in Maastricht and finish in Berg en Terblijt. At 128.5km the race is much shorter than we have been used to in recent one-day women's races, which have been around 160km. 

Although the distance is shorter the riders still have to tackle 19 climbs including the Cauberg - the top of which was the finish line last year. This year, however there are an additional 1.6km after the climb before the finish. 

Marianne Vos may be absent but there are plenty of other contenders to look out for including Kasia Niewiadoma, Annemiek van Vleuten, and Demi Vollering. Here are five riders to watch. 

The riders are lined up and ready to go

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The riders are rolling out of Maastricht for the neutral start. It is just 1.8km. 

Annemiek van Vleuten likes a hard race, but will today play to her strengths? Here's what she had to say before the start.

“I feel well rested after the altitude week. I had a quick stop over there and I’m excited to race.”

“It’s nice to know the parcours because its left, right, left, right and some small roads and its a bit like Flanders also. The position is quite important. For me the personal challenge is to make the difference on the sharp, short climbs. So for me the climbs here are two minute efforts, I need at least four minutes usually to make a difference with other riders. My favourite is a hard race so at least I’m going to suffer, it’s the same as Flanders.” 

“SD Worx are the big favourites here. My team showed last week that don’t forget about Movistar, three riders after the Koppenberg that gives us confidence for today.”

NINOVE BELGIUM FEBRUARY 26 Annemiek Van Vleuten of Netherlands and Movistar Team Women poses at podium with race trophy as winner after the 17th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2022 Womens Race a 128km race from Ghent to Ninove OHN22 FlandersClassic WorldTour on February 26 2022 in Ninove Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

🏁 The official start has been given 🏁

128.5km to go

The riders rolling our of Maastricht.

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The peloton have reached the first climb of the day, the Slingerberg, but after 7km of racing they are still all together. 

Demi Vollering (SD Worx) came second here last year, one week before winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Here is what she had to say ahead of today's race:

"It’s a really cool race for us and there are so many crowds on the side and also family and friends so I’m really motivated to race a good race here with my team."

"For sure Amstel suits me really good but I think the others also so I’m always really motivated for this week…I’m really looking forward."

On the changed up calendar she said:

"We need to see now because we’ve never had it like this and normally I always like the week where you really focus and now it’s a bit longer so we need to figure out if we also like it like this."

And on her main competition, Annemiek van Vleuten:

"Of course she’s a big favourite and Annemiek is always a danger for us and the rest so for sure we need to watch out for her."

LANDERNEAU FRANCE JUNE 26 Demi Vollering of Netherlands and Team SD Worx celebrates at podium during the 8th La Course By Le Tour De France 2021 a 1077km race from Brest to Landerneau Cte De La Fosse Aux Loups 176m Mask Covid safety measures LaCourse LeTour TDF2021 UCIWWT on June 26 2021 in Landerneau France Photo by Christophe PetitTesson PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After the Slingerberg the peloton are still all together. The next climb will be the Adsteeg

Nice to see encouragement for the riders on the road!

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All quiet in the bunch with 2km to go until the next climb, the 1.7km Lange Raarber - will someone make a move in this slightly longer climb? 

Finally, after just over 20km a breakaway is leading by 45 seconds. No names just yet. 

The three as yet unidentified leaders are not being given much room. The gap is already down to 30 seconds as they approach the fourth climb of the day, the Bergseweg.

96km to go

The gap is now down to just 10 seconds. The pace has been very high so far.

88km to go

The original break of three has now been caught and it's Anna Henderson (Jumbo - Visma) and Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon//SRAM) out front now. The pair have 15 seconds. 

Will the other WorldTour teams be happy to give these two riders a gap or will the likes of Trek and SD Worx be forced to chase now? 

Trek-Segafredo have world champion Elisa Balsamo in their ranks today but the Italian admitted before the race:

"This one is a beautiful race but I think it’s a bit too hard for me. Of course I try my best but its going to be a hard race for me...We will see on the road. I think there will be a lot of attacks. We will see."

There are now 9 riders in the lead 

The group contains Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM), Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) and four SD Worx riders, Marlen Reusser, Niamh Fisher Black, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, and another rider. As well as the original two, Henderson and Rooijakkers. 

The group has 17 seconds on a strung-out peloton behind. 

69km to go

Team DSM, who have missed the move, are leading the peloton

Attack by Henderson from the brak

They are approaching the 9th climb of the day, the Keutenberg, which is followed by the Cauberg.

Attack from van Vleuten on the Keutenberg as the peloton makes contact with the break.

Demi Vollering is glued to her wheel with Kasia Niewiadoma right behind 

The three have an 18-second gap. 

Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) is leading the peloton in an effort to bring the move back 

In doing so she has created a split bringing Liane Lippert (Team DSM), Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma), Chantal van den Broek Blaak (SD Worx) with her 

The chase group has caught the break 

62km to go

UAE team ADQ are driving the front of the peloton

The gap to the front group is 40 seconds 

They are just a few km away from the first ascent of the Cauberg

Attack from Ellen van Dijk

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio is chasing her down for SD Worx

Van Dijk's attack has been neutralised

23 seconds is the gap now with UAE continuing to work on the front of the peloton behind.

The break are on the Cauberg

Attack from Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE) from the peloton

Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) chases her down

The gap to the leaders is coming down now. Just 8 seconds.

Annemiek van Vleuten is driving the pace of the front group 

The break are all looking at one another as they crest the Cauberg

Attack from Chantal van den Broek Blaak 

van den Broek Blaak's move has injected pace into the breakaway and extended their gap over the top of the climb.

The break are now working together and the gap is back up to 23 seconds 

Crash in the peloton involving three Movistar riders, Emma Norsgaard, Katrine Aalerud, and Cuban champion Arlenis Sierra. 

Attack from Anna Santesteban (Team BikeExchange) on the Geulhemmerberg

Santesteban has a gap and is trying to bridge to the leading 7

Santesteban has caught the group as Henderson shows her frustration at the lack of cooperation from the others.

The gap is 25 seconds 

46km to go

Trek-Segafedo, SD Worx, and BikeExchange are controlling the peloton. The gap is now just over one minute.

Attack from Marta Lach (Ceratizit-WNT)

Lach's attack has strung out the peloton 

The leaders are on the Bemelerberg

This time it's Ellen van Dijk setting a high pace on the climb

The gap is back down to 30 seconds

Spanish national champion Mavi Garcia is on the front of the peloton for Team UAE ADQ

The peloton have the break in their sights now 

With the break almost brought back by her team's effort, Sofia Beritzzolo (UAE) jumps across to the group. Will they be given a gap again now? 

Second time up the Cauberg and it looks like the group will be caught.

Attack from Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM)

The break are absorbed by the peloton

Floortje Mackaij (Team DSM) is next to attack and gets a small gap

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx) counters

Followed by Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) and Annemiek van Vleuten 

Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) brings them all back and gets a gap with Juliette Labous (Team DSM) 

The attacks are creating gaps in the peloton but nothing has stuck just yet in terms of a breakaway

37km to go

Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM) is leading the peloton 

Attack from Anouska Koster (Jumbo Visma) on the Geulhemmerberg

A small group has gone away 

The group contains Rooijakkers (Canyon//SRAM), Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo), Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx)

Rooijakkers has gone clear on her own 

Rooijakkers has a gap of six seconds 

Rooijakkers gap is 10 seconds 

30km to go

Attack from Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) 

Spratt has a small gap and is joined by Arlenis Sierra (Movistar) 

Sierra and Spratt have bridged up to Rooijakkers

Attack from Chantal van den Broek Blaak (SD Worx) from the peloton with Valerie Demey of (Liv Racing Xstra) on her wheel 

They are brought back and Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) counters

The three leaders have 30 seconds on the peloton 

Henderson was brought back and it is now Floortje Mackaij (Team DSM) and Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) as Blanka Vas (SD Worx) is on the front of the peloton 

Riejanne Markus (Team Jumbo-Visma) attacks and bridges up to Mackaij and van Anrooij

Attack from Lizzie Holden of Le Col Wahoo from the peloton 

The leading three have 28 seconds on the peloton and Holden is 10 seconds behind 

The three leaders are at the bottom of the Cauberg for the third and penultimate time 

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio catches and passes Holden 

Moolman Pasio leads with Niewiadoma on her wheel 

Attack from Mavi Garcia (UAE)

The three leaders are pursued by Garcia followed by a group of around 15 riders 

Marlen Reusser of SD Worx and Anna Henderson of Jumbo Visma are attacking from the third group which also contains Kasia Nieiwadoma, and  Demi Vollering. 

All three groups are on the Geulhemmerberg and the gaps are coming down 

12km to go

Mavi Garcia is caught by the peloton 

The three leaders have 18 seconds 

10km to go

The peloton have the three leaders in their sights now 

On the Bemelerberg and it looks like the race will come back together 

Attack from Niamh Fisher Black (SD Worx) 

Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) neutralises the move 

Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) counters 

Attack from Soraya Paladin (Canyon//SRAM)

Attack from Lizzie Holden (Le Col Wahoo)

Ellen van Dijk counters with Anna Henderson on her wheel

Victorie Guilman (FDJ) has a small gap 

4km to go

Guilman is caught as they turn onto the Cauberg for the final time

2.6km to go

Van Vleuten attacks on the Cauberg bringing a group of favourites with her 

It's Mavi Garcia, Liane Lippert, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Kasia Niewiadoma, Demi Vollering and Marta Cavalli 

Marta Cavalli attacks over the top of the climb and gets a gap solo 

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio is doing her best to bring the group back for Demi Vollering but Cavalli has a big gap with less than 1km to go

Marta Cavalli wins!

Demi Vollering takes second and Liane Lippert third 

Top-10

1. Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) 

2. Demi Vollering (SD Worx) 

3. Liane Lippert (Team DSM)

4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) 

5. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) 

6. Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADW)

7. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx)

8. Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo)

9. Coryn Labecki (Jumbo-Visma)

10. Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) 

Winner Marta Cavalli:

Is this the biggest win of your career?

"Yes I can definitely say yes." "it's an incredible feeling"

"I have to thank my sport director in the car because in the last 50km I had a really nice feeling. I felt a bit tired and when we arrived at the top of the Cauberg for the last time we were 8 or 9 riders and he pushed me in the radio "Marta, it's your moment, try there is nothing to lose"

"We started the season with the motto of all or nothing and I tried and went after 500m I turned my head back I saw a big gap and it was just pushing until the finish line."

"Yesterday we did a recon and we spoke about this moment when you are in the back and in the front they slow down this is the key moment and it's incredible."

"The thing was to take the corner just before the Cauberg in front, there was a real fight and big speed and like a washing machine in the front of the bunch, it's really dangerous, and after a lot of crashed in the downhills I{"m still afraid in this kind of moment and I was relaxed when I took the Cauberg in front and safely."

On her clothing choices:

"Last year in this race I took a lot of cold and then I avoid to repeat this bad feeling because it makes my legs not good. I prefer to stay more covered and warm and have a better feeling." 

VALKENBURG NETHERLANDS APRIL 10 Marta Cavalli of Italy and Team FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope celebrates winning during the 8th Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition 2022 a 1285km one day race from Maastricht to Valkenburg UCIWWT AGR2022 on April 10 2022 in Valkenburg Netherlands Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SD Worx):

"I mean so I came into the Cauberg maybe a little bit too far back, it's always a little bit difficult for the lighter riders to be well-placed coming in but then I put bin a really big surge to get to the front and to be able to follow Annemiek and I did. Then as we came to the top I suppose there was just a moment of hesitation. I should have just attacked even though my legs were exploding and then that would have been the best move but in the end Marta Cavalli put in a really great attack and it was a long leadout for me and then Demi did well to finish second.

"Overall a strong tam performance but maybe in the end we lost a little bit the control."

"We were talking to each other. Demi was shouting "go Ash!" so we were doing our absolute best but sometimes you can only do the best that your legs can."  

"We missed the win for a second year in a row so now we go to Brabantsje Pijl and we try to make up for the mistakes." 

"At the end of the day maybe just a bit of frustration from both sides. Not with each other more with ourselves. I"m sure Demi also hoped to be in a better position and in that moment she had to save for the sprint, she is the best sprinter so it was up to me." 

"Good preparation, I can be confident that my legs are good, they are strong. Amstel Gold Race is always a bit of a strange race/. It's very tactical, it's hard but also very tactical so in the end we did our best and it was second." 

ICYMI read the full race report for a run-down on what happened at today's Amstel Gold Race.

Thanks for following along with our live coverage of Amstel Gold Race. Join us next Saturday for the second edition of Paris Roubaix Femmes!

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