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Amstel Gold - Holland

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Welcome to the Amstel Gold

The Amstel Gold is part of the Pro Cycling Tour and takes place in Valkenburg (about 10km from Masstricht) in the very southern point of Holland every April.  We have now done the cyclo sportif (for the amaturers) the last two years, where you can choose between several distances ranging from 60km to 250km, riding some or all of the course the professionals do the following day.

   Gibbo out on a training ride the day before the race      Gibbo and his teams mates from the Wassenar Doortrappers
                                      Gibbo on a training ride                                                                  Gibbo and the Wassenar Doortrappers

Throughout Western Europe, there are a number of organised bike rides, many of them based around the Spring Classics of the ProTour. The aim is to try and replicate the experience of the pros, and most of the time the organisers succeed. However, the Amstel Gold professional race has around 200 participating, while the cyclosportif version the previous day has around 18,000. Slight difference. This was apparant during the 2007 version when the eight Doortrappers (the name of our riding group based in The Hague) got within 300m of the finish line atop of the steep Cauberg only to have to stop and walk our bikes because of congestion at the finish. That was the only disappointing part of the day though as the rest of the course was relatively open and free-flowing, with only the many climbs becoming clogged at times. This is with good reason though as there are some short, but very steep (17 - 20%) climbs that can only be climbed slowly by 95% of those participating. The Keutenberg is one such climb (max 20%) and is the second last for the day, which test many people. Narrow roads with many cyclists trying to crawl their way up this climb often means there is no where to go but down. That means to the ground!       

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