Featured Stories

Amstel Gold Race – Preview

April 15, 2006 – The fifth round of the ProTour hits the streets of the Netherlands tomorrow for the classic Amstel Gold Race. The 41st edition runs just over 250K in the Masstricht province of the Netherlands, and takes in several now well-known climbs. The tough Cauberg climb is almost always the deciding hill, and should once again provided some excitement for the finale.

Quick.Step’s Tom Boonen will not be riding for gold at this race – after a string of victories he has decided to rest up and prepare for the Tour de France and the rest of the season, so the Rainbow Stripes will not be on top of the podium in Amstel. Michael Boogerd of Rabobank – three times runner-up – has been relatively quiet this spring but must be wondering if indeed this is his year.

Discovery will be fielding a less-than-perfect team this year with several of their heavy hitters – notably George Hincapie, and his righthand man Michael Barry, injured. However, Leif Hoste has been on fire as of late and could have a go at it. Look for Lotto’s Peter Van Petegem to avenge his Paris Roubiax DQ, and Quick.Step’s Filippo Pozzato to try and use the same form that won him Milano-San Remo at Amstel.

Racing begins 10am local time Easter Sunday and Pedal will have photos and results immediately following the race.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Amstel Gold Race Preview

April 16, 2004 – On Sunday, April 18, the Amstel Gold Race (the fourth UCI World Cup race of the season) will celebrate its 39th edition. In the early days the only Dutch one-day classic on the calendar was generally dominated by the Belgians who won seven editions and earned 23 podium places in the first 11 years. Dutchman Jan Raas was the one to end this era of Belgian domination as he won the Amstel Gold Race five times. Dutch riders are currently on a streak of six years with at least one rider finishing inside the top three. This is three years short of the all-time record, which is held by Belgium who had at least one rider in the top three between 1968 and 1976. In total, Belgians have finished on the Amstel Gold Race podium 39 times. With just two podium places less, the Dutch contingent in the peloton could overtake their neighbours if they clinch all three top spots in the 2004 edition.
Consecutive Podium places by Country

Country Year – rank best rider
9 Belgium 1968-1, 1969-1, 1970-1, 1971-1, 1972-1, 1973-1, 1974-2, 1975-1,
7 Netherlands 1982-1, 1983-3, 1984-1, 1985-1, 1986-1, 1987-1, 1988-1
7 Italy 1993-2, 1994-2, 1995-2, 1996-1, 1997-2, 1998-3, 1999-3
6 Netherlands 1998-2, 1999-1, 2000-1, 2001-1, 2002-3, 2003-2
5 Netherlands 1976-2, 1977-1, 1978-1, 1979-1, 1980-1
5 Belgium 1988-3, 1989-1, 1990-2, 1991-3, 1992-2Current streak in bold

Most podium places by Country

39: Belgium
– 29: Eddy Merckx/Johan Museeuw (3x in top 3)
37: Netherlands
– 19: Jan Raas (7x in top 3)
13: Italy
– 12: Michele Bartoli (2x in top 3)
6: Switzerland
– 4: Rolf Järmann/Beat Zberg (2x in top 3)
4: (West-)Germany
-4: 4 riders (1x in top 3)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.