Now in it's third year since it was reintroduced to the women’s calendar, Amstel Gold is the next stop in the UCI Womens World Tour.
What has happened so far?
Let’s first catch up with how things look in the WWT. Trofeo Binda was won in supreme style by Marianne Vos - her sprint for the line - and the distance she put into the rest of the field - was vintage.
Pure class. Marta Bastianelli held on to her lead in the overall individual standings. Up next was Driedsaage de Panne, a 134km classic starting in Bruges and finishing in Panne. Fresh from winning two world titles on the track at the recent World Championships, Kirsten Wild proved she is the sprinter to beat, beating Lorena Wiebes and Lotte Kopecky to the line. The Dutchwoman made it two from two, winning Gent Wevelgem, the next round in Belgium. With fourth place, Italian Bastianelli successfully defended her lead in the overall standings. Next up was a classic - Tour of Flanders.
The best riders in history have won this iconic race, including Lizzie Deignan, Vos and Elisa Londo Borghini. But this year was all about Bastianelli. She outsprinted Annemiek van Vleuten and Cecile Uttrup Ludwig to the line, demonstrating her fine run of form shows no sign of abating.
Amstel Gold Start - 10.50am CETFinish - 2.15pm CET
Starting in Vrijthof, Maastricht, the 126.8km route finishes in Valkenburg, just 1.8km from the top of the infamous Cauberg. The ladies will face the Vrakelbergerweg, the Zwartebrugweg, Eyserbosweg and the Keutenberg before three local laps, where the peloton will have to conquer the Geulhemmerberg (970 meters, gradient 7.9%), the Bemelerberg (900 meters, gradient 7%) and of course the famous Cauberg (800 meters, gradient 12%).
- Anna van der Breggen - Boels Dolmans
- Lizzie Deignan - Boels Dolmans
- Kasia Niewiadoma - WM3 Pro Cycling Team
- Chantal Blaak - Boels Dolmans
- Lucinda Brand - Team Sunweb
- Amanda Spratt - Mitchelton Scott
Riders to watch
After giving birth to her daughter Orla last September, and taking over a year out of professional racing, Deignan is back for her team Trek Segafredo. Considering her main goal this season is the World title on home soil at the Yorkshire 2019 Championships, there is no rush for her to come back to racing. But the former world champion is pinning on a number this weekend, indicating she is in good form.
Ellen van Dijk
Alongside in-form Ellen van Dijk fresh from a win at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Expect fireworks!
Anna van der Breggen
The reigning world champion is the 2017 winner of this race and you’d be a fool to bet against her, especially considering the strength of her team, Boels Dolmans, a squad that also includes defending champion Chantal Blaak.
The Dutch national champion won with a stunning sprint last year and already has a win under her belt this season. She will certainly be a rider to watch, but it depends on the Boels Dolmans gameplan, with more than one race-winning option.
Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt are strong contenders for Mitchelton-Scott, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio and Marianne Vos are a force to be reckoned with for CCC-Liv, while Bastianelli remains THE rider to beat.
How to watch
Follow @voxwomen on Twitter for race updates from the heart of the convoy, plus pre and post race interviews from the key contenders, and the podium.