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These Amstels are making me thirsty! 2024 Women's Amstel Gold Race, April 14

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Who will win this year's race?


  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
Interesting that Voss and Wiebes didn't get any votes in the poll.

I cannot believe what Wiebes did. I just saw the race. Feel really sorry for her.
While Wiebes has improved her ability to get over obstacles, the Cauberg finish was likely perceived to be a bit outside her range because of the lack of recovery time afterward. Vos is never a bad bet, but isn't a bonanza bet anymore.

However, I think despite ourselves, we underestimated just how terrible the 2012 circuit has become, and with a péloton seemingly not hell-bent on going too hard today even when it came down to a single-climb shootout, they came back into it.

I think the course is due a shake-up. This is a race that does need a periodic refresh, because when the course is the same for too many years in a row, riders learn where to dose their efforts and when to go, and it becomes stale. The current Cauberg-Geulhemmerweg-Bemelerberg circuit is super stale, the men's race breathed life into it by changing the finish from being the Cauberg sprint, and reducing the repetition of the circuit to allow other climbs to have more role in the race; the women's race doesn't have anything more than a token inclusion of the climbs like Eyserbosweg and Keutenberg that offer greater opportunity for separation and would put riders like Wiebes at a disadvantage, whereas the lack of anything even resembling a challenge to all but the most miserable climber other than the Cauberg on the final circuit means that it all too frequently comes back together. The last climb other than that godawful circuit is 83km from home, and ain't nobody bothering with doing anything there at the start of Ardennes week.

The increased professionalism since the WWT has begun has started to render a lot of the old courses too easy for separation now. Elisa Balsamo winning two editions of the Trofeo Binda and Lorena Wiebes surviving to the finish of Amstel Gold should both be clear signs that these races - once preserves of the puncheuse - are no longer hard enough to fulfil the role on the calendar they are intended for, and the routes need to respond to reflect that. The women literally had a better route for the current péloton in 2003 when the race was running off the back of Leontien van Moorsel's success - using much of the same awful 2012 circuit, but extending the loop not just for the sake of extending it like they did today, but to loop around and add Keutenberg 11km from the finish - which would be around 12,5km today with the finish moved from the top of the Cauberg as it was back then to the end of the 2012 Worlds course over in Berg en Terblijt.
 
Just got around to watching it. I suspect Wiebes in the heat of the moment thought the Amstel logo was the finish. Pidcock nearly did the same thing. Brutal ending.

the difference with Pidcock was he doesnt lift his arms up till he's literally hitting the finish bit of the finish line, its about 3/4qtrs of a bike length away and the speed they were going its literally less than a second.

Lorena starts celebrating before shes even hit reached the Amstel logo, which looks around 4 bike lengths at least away from the finish line and its about 3 seconds later she crosses the line.
 
Interesting that Voss and Wiebes didn't get any votes in the poll.

I cannot believe what Wiebes did. I just saw the race. Feel really sorry for her.

well the makeup of SDWorx team, you wouldnt have expected Vollering, or Kopecky to be doing domestique jobs for a sprinter who by rights shouldnt be in the mix at the end of a race like that, none of the other teams brought their main sprinters did they ?

and the poll closed before I could pick Vos :D but again you look at the other teams, and you can never discount someone who has won 250, now 251, races, but it was hard to see a way through for her to beat them.

the delay and change of route obviously mixed things up, I saw ELB say it was more like a crit race in the end.

and I struggle to feel that sorry for her, maybe Ive a tiny bit of sympathy,but its such a very basic mistake for a pro rider to make that youd be embarrassed even as a first year junior to have done, and we see so often from riders who just dont ride to the line.

It equal parts annoys me that alot of the write ups of the race say Vos just won by a bike throw, and its like yes she did throw the bike which helps obviously, but actually she wins because the other rider is busy celebrating before theyve crossed the line, and the one thing you never see Vos do is celebrate before she's actually won, she carries on till the finish thats why she has won so much, and its not the first time she's caught another rider napping at the line either.
 
However, I think despite ourselves, we underestimated just how terrible the 2012 circuit has become, and with a péloton seemingly not hell-bent on going too hard today even when it came down to a single-climb shootout, they came back into it.

I think the course is due a shake-up. This is a race that does need a periodic refresh, because when the course is the same for too many years in a row, riders learn where to dose their efforts and when to go, and it becomes stale.
I agree that the women's route is bad and that the circuit is bad, but I disagree that the race needs a periodic refresh. It just needs a good route. They could have the same last 105 km as the men, and then it wouldn't need any refresh, just like the men's route doesn't need any refresh.
 
I agree that the women's route is bad and that the circuit is bad, but I disagree that the race needs a periodic refresh. It just needs a good route. They could have the same last 105 km as the men, and then it wouldn't need any refresh, just like the men's route doesn't need any refresh.
Each time they've changed the course it's seen an uptick in the quality of editions for a while, until the péloton gets used to it, where the right places to go become 'known' and it becomes a bit more settled. The new version for the men has been very good thus far, and hopefully it will take a lot longer to become stale than the last couple (excepting the 2021 edition on the circuit because that was what they had to do to get an edition to exist at all).

Who knows, maybe this men's route is the one that sticks and becomes the permanent version, they seem to at least be accepting the role as, alongside Brabantse Pijl, a position on the continuum from the northern classics to Liège-Bastogne-Liège and accepting that some of the riders from the northern classics can play an important role in the race and its style, rather than trying to focus specifically and exclusively on the puncheurs as they tried to in the 2000s and early 2010s. But, if things start to get predictable 5-10 years down the line, then the race can look to reboot.

The women's race, on the other hand, needs urgent attention, because this circuit is beyond played out, everybody knows it like the backs of their hands, and all climbs bar the final time up the Cauberg have been rendered irrelevant, making it into a 2km race that manages to have all of the weaknesses of Flèche Wallonne and few of its strengths.