Amstel Gold Race 2024

After a short break, it is good to be doing another preview. They’ve decided to go with the same route as in 2022 and 2023.


Just above 250 km and just above 3000 climbing meters. In 2022, we had 11 riders within 20 seconds of the winner, Michal Kwiatkowski. In 2023, we had none within that margin. We only had Healy within two minutes of Pogacar (38 seconds gap). So is it selective? Depends on the riders.

And enjoy this fantastic image as the map.


You can’t really pinpoint on climb as say, “this is where the fun begins”. In 2022, it more or less stayed together until Eyserbosweg but the year after, a large group got away 93 km from the line, which held off the chasers.

I would argue the more likely of the two is the Kruisberg + Eyserbosweg combo being where the main contenders start attacking. Keutenberg is right after, I think that is where the elite group got clear in 2022. Cauberg is the last of the tough climbs but after 240 km of racing already, Geulhemmmerberg and Bemelerberg are not to be underestimated.


The wind blows from the west tomorrow. It means that the Eysorbosweg and Cauberg will be ridden with a cross-headwind, while Kruisberg and Keutenberg is with a crosswind. 3-4 m/s is not a huge deal but it should in theory keep things together a little longer. Then, when the move has been made, it will likely stay away. Riders tend to do less work with a headwind.

How will the race unfold?

Does the wind matter? We had the same wind conditions in 2022, here it stayed together for quite a while. In 2023, the wind came from the north, yet Pogacar dropped almost everyone on the Eyserbosweg with a headwind. So no, I wouldn’t go saying it plays a big role.

The quality of the startlist is much better than the two previous editions. Plus, Tadej Pogacar is not riding – instead we have Mathieu van der Poel. I think he is a little overhyped. Sure, he has been absolutely dominant this spring but this is a tough race for him, hence why he in 2022 only was 4th here. If you take the 3000 climbing meters and add with the profilescore (PCS) above 100 (just to leave a little room), he is not as dominant as you think. Only nine times has he finished in the top-10, winning only three races (Amstel ’19, Strade Bianche ’21 and Baloise Belgium Tour | S4 ’23). So, he is not immortal tomorrow. And Alpecin – Deceuninck can’t control the race in the same way as the did in Paris-Roubaix neither.

Looking at the starters, I think UAE have a brilliant team. It surely must be them trying to make the climbs as tough as possible. The question is just, how have the decided to divide the roles? We’ve seen the cock up many times, and they’ve gotten away with it as they are not Movistar. However, Basque Country | S6 ’24 proved to me, that they can do very well with their numbers. It looks as Marc Hirschi and Juan Ayuso are starting at the top of the food chain, meaning they will have the likes of McNulty, Almeida, Christen and Fisher-Black to create the main selection.

Therefore, I think UAE will be the team to force a selection and play their numbers against MvdP.


Marc Hirschi – He is one of the best one-day racers in the World, yet I don’t really find his current form very threatening. From my point of view, he seems to struggle with positioning. You could argue that having the strongest team tomorrow would help solve the problem, yet I wouldn’t count on it. And just to be even more critical, he often tends to compete in smaller races than tomorrow.

Juan Ayuso – I think he is the better of the two captains from the team. I think he looked real scary in Itzulia Basque Country, he was climbing extremely well. He already showed us his versatility in February with three very good results in the Faun Classic races and Trofeo Laigueglia. He is clearly in great shape, he has his best team at his disposal and he packs a very good sprint. Potential top-5. The main question must be, can he cope with the distance?

Ben Healy – he should be able to climb with the best tomorrow, but he will know he can’t beat them in a sprint. It will be his Archilles’ Heel for many years to come. There is a scenario, where he wins solo. On a few occasions every seasons, he just doesn’t get tired. A top-10.

Tom Pidcock – I was impressed with him in Paris-Roubaix. A bad race for him on paper, seated power is not his best quality. Amstel Gold Race seems to get the best out of him. He was second in 2021 and third in 2023. Despite him crashing out of Itzulia Basque Country, he still looks to be good enough to fight for the win here. I see a top-3 candidate.

Mathieu van der Poel – I’ve already said a few things about him. I don’t think he should be as big of a favorite as he is tomorrow. The length of the climbs here are a little longer and they are not on cobblestones. I’ve seen him bring back a large group in 2019 and I’ve seen him being last rider hanging on over Eysorbosweg in 2022. I’d imagine he will be one of the best tomorrow, no doubt, but I honestly think there is a chance he can be distanced.

Matteo Jorgensen – I will go with him as the Visma-LAB option. He wasn’t fully fit after De Ronde, so smart enough to have him skip Paris-Roubaix. He goes very well on double digits, and I think his chances of winning are a lot higher as we have above 3000 climbing meters. He will likely have to win solo, and I think that will be difficult. A top-10. I almost feel ashamed leaving Tiesj Benoot out here.

Michael Matthews – He is going well just now. A top-10. He will fight for a top placement in a group behind.

Mattias Skjelmose – he has been going well this spring. 4th in Paris-Nice, 3rd in Itzulia Basque Country. He was 8th last year here, a result he will improve tomorrow. LIDL-Trek had missed the early move, meaning he, Benoot and few others tried to bridge across later on but in vain. He is a wonderful one-day racer, who goes very well on double digits. A top-3 contender.

Benoît Cosnefroy – he seems back to winning ways. Given his current shape, I’d imagine he will get his second top-10 placement in this race. I do wonder if he can go all the way, it was a close call in 2022 between him and Kwiatkowski.

Maxim van Gils – 7th here in 2023, he was one of the riders missing the split too. He climbed very well in Gran Premio Miguel Indurain, it was some gap he made for himself. Unfortunately, he lost his sprint to McNulty which was a bit surprising. I’d imagine a top-5 tomorrow.

Who will win?

I don’t think Mathieu van der Poel will win tomorrow. I can’t really tell you the reason for it, other than only three times in six seasons has he won such a hilly race as tomorrow. Then we have the UAE numerical advantage. Toss a coin; head means they cock it up, tail means they will win.

I think Mattias Skjelmose wins tomorrow. I told myself 30 minutes ago, he can’t cope with the distance, hence the 14th at Worlds in Glasgow. However, he had a very poorly timed puncture that day.

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