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Amstel Gold and the Ronde van Vlaanderen

May 6, 2009
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Is it possible to win both? And I don't mean with a good program either.

Just picking up on something that commentators said on British Eurosport during the Amstel, and they said Amstel Gold is very similar to the Ronde van Vlaanderen course, in that both contain a lot of short sharp (even steep?) climbs dotted throughout the course. Only difference the climbs in Flanders are cobbled, while obviously the ones used for Amstel are not. Although from what I have seen the climbs in Flanders are a lot steeper then ones used for Amstel.

Frank Schleck, a former AGR winner, has said he wants to try out the RVV eventually. For a person who lives on the other side of the world, it does appear to be some similarities between the two races. Is that correct?

So it would be possible for a guy like Cancellara to win RVV and also Amstel Gold if he wanted do (not in the same season though!), or even Tom Boonen, just to name a few.

I realise this probably more directed to the Dutch and Belgian posters on here, since that is a part of Europe I haven't been too (and yet I have been to Rein Taaramäe's home country).

Of course anybodies opinion is always welcome :eek:
Mar 10, 2009
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Don't have the profiles ready, if you can put those next to each other, you'll capture the differences best.

- many more climbs in AGR
- uphill finish AGR
- different field of competitors
I think it's definately possible for the right rider. Most of the top riders of RVV are too much of sprinters to win in Amstel because the climbs there are alot more and some are slightly longer so while a Boonen or Hushovd can handle RVV climbs with the best the AGR climbs favour better climbers like the specialists.

However there are riders that are right on the edge of being suited for both races. I'm sure that Phillippe Gilbert can RVV with some great form and good luck. There are other riders that will always be bigger favourites but it's certainly within his reach.

Cancellara at his best is probably good enough to win AGR in my opinion as well.

The main problem for the riders that are good in AGR is being fast enoough and strong enough. There is usually a big sprint to get into position before the climbs in RVV and a guy like Fränk Schleck might not have the speed to stay in a good position that's needed to fight on the climbs. That means he'll need a very strong team to help him.
Aug 6, 2009
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I'd say definitely possible. Gilbert won AGR and he podiumed in Vlaanderen. Now Cancellara and Boonen were both clearly stronger, but with luck, the right tactics and a good day I think Gilbert could win. Hell Cancellara and Boonen could have defects.

ETA: And I just noticed that I'm just repeating what Ingsve said.
Mar 13, 2009
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Plus from what I guess you need a lot of experience in Flanders to be able to compete for the win, so I'd say Fränk would have to ride it maybe 2 or 3 times before actually being able to compete for podium
No Amstel is not comparable to Flanders, common mistake.
Just ask the people who rode both races and they will tell you. Even people who rode both tour versions (for recreationists).

For one, the Amstel has no flat parts, it's constantly up and down, there is no recup part. None. If you spend your energy somewhere in Amstel and get caught, you're done, it's over (except for a superday like Gilbert had).

In Flanders, they don't even begin climbing until a good 100km into the race, and there are plenty of recup strokes and flat parts. The races could not be more different. Not to mention the cobbles.

You also see this in the style of racing. In Flanders the finale begins at 80km. In Amstel, it would be complete suicide if you'd start racing that early.
Cancellara/Boonen's move was at 40km. Do that at Amstel and again, you're fried, forget about your chances.
They are very irregular. I personally don't like those climbs. They go from 3 to 12% and back. Schweiberg even has a downhill and then suddenly a steep 10% part. Totally rythm breaking.
Drielandenpunt has an awful road condition. And between Schweiberg and Drielandenpunt there is an 'unofficial' climb of 2,5km which also has a seriously bad road and parts up to 10%
Dekker_Tifosi said:
For one, the Amstel has no flat parts, it's constantly up and down, there is no recup part.

With all respect, if you go down, you have a recup part, don't you? :confused:

And in the last decade, the decisive attack occurred mostly in Geraardsbergen, with 60 riders in front. This year's race was rather an exception.