Sunday 14 April 2024 at 17h41

We saw an Amstel Gold Race today that remained exciting for a long time and was only really decided much later than in previous editions. Top favorite Mathieu van der Poel didn't get a role to play and in the end Tom Pidcock managed to win, ahead of Marc Hirschi and Tiesj Benoot!

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The summary of the Amstel Gold Race 2024

This morning just before 11 o'clock, the Amstel Gold Race started from the Market in Maastricht, for a 253.6 km ride towards the finish in Berg & Terblijt, with 33 hills on the program.

From the start we saw several attack attempts, but after the Maasberg and the Adsteeg, still no leading group was formed yet that stayed ahead. The next hill, the climb of the Bergseweg (3), was then dropped because due to a neutralization in the women's race, the ladies were stuck here, and the men rode around it, continuing immediately to the Korenweg (4). This thus reduced the total number of hills of the race to 32 and in the meantime a leading group was finally formed, of four riders: Tosh van der Sande (Team Visma | Lease a Bike), Enzo Leijnse (dsm-firmenich PostNL), Alexander Hajek (BORA-hansgrohe) and Zeb Kyffin (TDT-Unibet Cycling Team).

Soon this foursome gained a decent lead, which quickly grew at the beginning due to a puddle break in the peloton. At the foot of the Camerig climb (now climb 9 instead of 10), the gap was above 4'30". However, while in the peloton behind them it was the Alpecin-Deceuninck and INEOS Grenadiers teams that were doing the work, the lead increased even further, up to close to 5 minutes, but then the leader quartet's party was over and the peloton came closer again. When the leading group begins the climb of the Cauberg (20), the lead has already decreased to under a minute and at the first crossing of the finish line, there are only 20 seconds left!

First of all, Tosh van der Sande drops back and the remaining three riders are soon swallowed up by the peloton. It then remains quiet for more than 25 kilometers until the foot of the Loorberg (24), before Louis Vervaeke (Soudal Quick-Step) attacks and together with Mikkel Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost) and Paul Lapeira (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) they little by little build up a lead of half a minute. However, that was not enough to stay ahead of the favorites in the peloton. After Vervaeke is caught back, at about 35 kilometers before the finish, with the other two riders still in front, near the top of the Eyserbosweg, a first acceleration comes from several favorites with Carapaz, van der Poel, Jorgenson, Healy, Skjelmose, Cosnefroy and Pidcock, but it soon fell silent again. Almost unseen, Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) then pushed through with an attack, followed in it by Roger Adrià (BORA-hansgrohe), Bauke Mollema (Lidl-Trek) and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ). A second group of four forms after an attack by Matteo Jorgenson (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) and Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny) who are joined by Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step) and Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ). Finally, we see Tiesj Benoot (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) and Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers) also break away from the peloton and just before the Keutenberg (29), they close the gap to the front. While Hirschi closed the gap with Lapeira and Honoré, then passed them all together, they thus rode into a leading group of four, as Vansevenant also managed to rejoin them.

Eventually everything at the front got back together and so we had 12 riders at the front: Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), Mikkel Honoré (EF Education-EasyPost), Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers), Tiesj Benoot (Team Visma |Lease a Bike), Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step), Roger Adrià (BORA-hansgrohe), Bauke Mollema (Lidl-Trek), Paul Lapeira (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team), Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) who apparently also managed to close the gap in the meantime, Valentin Madouas and Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) and Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious).

Several favorites, including the top favorite, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) stayed behind in the peloton, and this time there was no attack from the Dutchman which allowed him to ride away from everyone: he remained completely out of the game today. The leading group of 12 riders, with a large number of teams represented in it, built up the lead to around 45 seconds on the second climb of the Cauberg (30) and on the descent of this, Pidcock, Hirschi and Bilbao managed to ride away.

Vansevenant closed the gap and then Benoot also on the Geulhemmerberg (31), where Bilbao had to drop out. As a group of four they rode away towards the finish and at the end of the Bemelerberg Pidcock attacked, but thanks to Benoot the others managed to get back and after another attack from Pidcock it was the Belgian's turn to try to get away, but that didn't work either. Looking at each other, their lead over the remaining riders of the leading group of 12 melted away like snow in the sun, and in the end it was Vansevenant who was the first to really turn on the sprint. This eventually proved hopeless with a Benoot and a Hirschi also accelerating and eventually Tom Pidcock going faster than everyone else and winning the race by half a wheel length! A real revenge on 2021 when the Amstel Gold Race was won by Wout van Aert (Team Visma | Lease a Bike), absent today, and with a photo finish that ... wasn't really clear!

The top 10 of the Amstel Gold Race 2024

Check out the top 10 of the Amstel Gold Race on the Amstel Gold Race page in the UCI cycling calendar.

door Thomas Vergouwen
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2 comments | 1412 views

this publication is published in: Classics

Comments

There are 2 comments!
  1. Volgens mij heeft vd Poel zich bewust rustig gehouden om volgende week toe te slaan bij Luik-Bastenaken-Luik. Die klassieker vind hij veel belangrijker dan de Amstel Gold Race.

    | Paul | Sunday 14 April 2024 om 19h39

  2. Goed gezien Paul!
    Ik denk er net zo over. AGR was zo een mooie trainingsrit -;)

    | Tonn | Monday 15 April 2024 om 13h05

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