Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | A very competitive team for the Amstel Gold Race
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A very competitive team for the Amstel Gold Race

  |   Press

A new final for the 53rd edition of the Amstel Gold Race starting from Maastricht and finishing after over 260 kilometers in the nearby Vilt-Valkenberg. As always, the race route passes through the Limburg region on a never-ending labyrinth of narrow and winding country roads. The peloton will have to face several côtes between, for three times, the Cauberg: more than 1km with a maximum slope of 12%.

The novelty this year is the last kilometers. After passing the Geulhemmerberg ascent, the riders will descend a very narrow descent before tackle the Bemelerberg, but once again they will follow that up with a different and undulating route to the finishing kilometer.

“It’s a more complicated end – explains Sport Director Rik Verbrugghe – the road is very small and certainly those who pass first on the Cauberg will try to attack immediately downhill. For the rest, I expect the usual very stressful competition for a race that I consider a mix between the Ronde and the Liège: there are no cobbles, but the climbs are much longer and harder “.

“We really have a very competitive team – he adds – starting from Vincenzo Nibali and the brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre without forgetting Sonny Colbrelli and Enrico Gasparotto. We have more solutions and we will see during the race how it will be better to move, of course the guys are very motivated and they all come from good performances “.

Enrico Gasparotto, twice winner in 2012 and 2016, also feels ready: “I expect the usual very open race. This year, the Cauberg is much closer to the finish line and the presence of Peter Sagan will make itself felt in the race. Personally, the race I did two days ago has confirmed that I’m in a good shape and that the work I did during the 13 days training camp at Teide has already given good results “.

Reduced from second place at the De Brabantse Pijl, Sonny Colbrelli wants to repeat the Top Ten of last year: “There are all the ingredients to make a good Amstel: morale is high, the shape is growing and we have a great team. I think the race will get inflamed at less than 50km from the finish when the best start fighting. And we will be there “.

TBM line-up for Amstel Gold Race: Vincenzo Nibali, Sonny Colbrelli, Grega Bole, Enrico Gasparotto, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Franco Pellizotti