Amstel Gold Race 2024: Everything you need to know

The WorldTour heads to the Netherlands for the start of the Ardennes Classics

Date: Sunday, April 14, 2024 
Start: Maastricht, Netherlands 
Finish: Berg en Terblijt, Netherlands
Distance: 255.2km (men), 157.4km (women)
Defending champion: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime)

The Amstel Gold Race marks a turning point in the WorldTour calendar – the cobbled Classics riders are replaced with puncheurs and climbers as this race marks the start of the Ardennes Classics. Held in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands, the peloton twists through the rolling countryside on narrow roads, taking in the region's short but punchy climbs. 

The race was created by Dutch sports promoters Ton Visser and Herman Krott, who ran a company called Inter Sport. Their dream was to create a Dutch race that was able to compete with the other iconic Classics such as the Tour of Flanders. The first race took place in 1966 with Dutch beer brewery Amstel as the title sponsor, and it has remained ever since. Only one edition has been missed, which was in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Taking place in the middle of the cobbled Classics and the Ardennes Classics, the Amstel Gold Race found it hard to establish itself in the cycling calendar when it first began, struggling to entice the biggest stars in the sport. However, having firmly made its mark as one of the Netherlands' most anticipated sporting events, the race sees the world’s best cyclists line up on the start line. The Amstel Gold Race is now considered the opening race of Ardennes Week, despite not being part of the Ardennes, and was granted UCI WorldTour status in 2011. 

The first-ever Dutch winner was Arie den Hartog, who won the second edition in 1967. Success on home soil has been a running theme throughout the history of the race, with the race won 18 times by a Dutch rider. This is closely followed by the Belgian riders, who have taken victory 14 times. 

Jan Raas holds the title for the most wins at Amstel Gold, having won five times in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982. This is followed by Philippe Gilbert, who has won on four occasions with the most recent win in 2017. Only a handful of riders have won the Classic more than once, and they include Eddy Merckx, Gerrie Knetemann, Rolf Järmann, Enrico Gasparotto, and Michał Kwiatkowski.

Tadej Pogačar won the Ardennes’ opening race last year, 38 seconds ahead of second-place Ben Healy. However, the Slovenian will not be back to defend his title this year. Nonetheless, there is one man who will be on the start line of this year’s race who will make it very difficult for anyone else to win, and that is previous winner Mathieu van der Poel. He is currently on a superb run of good form and will want to continue this, especially in the lead-up to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he could secure four out of the five Monument titles. Also returning to the race in search of a third win here will be Kwiatkowski, but he’ll not only face Van der Poel, he’ll also face the likes of Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), Ben Healy and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost), Matteo Jorgenson (Visma-Lease a Bike), and Michael Matthews (Jayco-Alula). Kwiatkowski’s teammate Tom Pidcock will also return to try and better his third place from last year.

Tadej Pogačar crossing the line in the 2023 edition (Image by

Amstel Gold Race 2024 teams: 

  • UAE Team Emirates
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • EF Education-EasyPost
  • Astana Qazaqstan
  • Bahrain-Victorious
  • Ineos Grenadiers 
  • Jayco Alula
  • Cofidis 
  • Alpecin-Deceuninck 
  • Intermarché-Wanty
  • Movistar
  • Visma-Lease a Bike
  • Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale 
  • Arkéa-B&B Hotels
  • Lidl-Trek
  • Soudal–Quick-Step
  • Team dsm-firmenich PostNL
  • Israel-Premier Tech
  • Lotto Dstny
  • Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team
  • Team Flanders-Baloise 
  • TDT-Unibet Cycling Team
  • Tudor Pro Cycling Team
  • Uno-X Mobility

Amstel Gold Race 2024 route: 

This year’s Amstel Gold Race route rolls out from Maastricht and heads north towards Sittard. A race known for its twists, turns and steep climbs, the race sets the tone from the very start, and after just 12km of riding, the peloton faces its first of 33 climbs. 

2024 route map sourced from the Amstel Gold Race website 

The route then heads back south and loops the hilly region of Limburg, going from one climb to the next in quick succession – some of them featuring double-digit gradients. The most notable climbs come in the second half of the race, with the Cauberg, Keutenberg and Eyserbosweg. Keutenberg has the most eye-watering ascent, with a 22% gradient to the top, and this is where Pogačar launched his race-winning attack last year. And there is no time for the riders to recover as shortly after the brutal ascent, they are down and back climbing up the Cauberg. 

In the last few kilometres as the peloton heads to the final, they’ll take in two short climbs, one which is 1km in length at 4.5%, and another at 4.5% for 900 metres. The final challenge before the finish is making their way safely through the Franse Steeg, before hitting the wide finale.

Amstel Gold Ladies Edition 

Taking place on the same day as the men’s, the only difference for the women’s race is the distance, which is slightly shorter at 157km. The women’s peloton still rolls out from Maastricht and finishes in Berg en Terblijt in Valkenburg, taking in the same punchy climbs that make this race so explosive. 

First taking place in 2001, there were three editions of the women’s race until 2003. They would roll out 30 minutes after the men, but this caused some issues on the route, and the women’s race was later cancelled. However, after a 14-year hiatus, the women’s Amstel Gold Race returned to the Netherlands. With no race for 14 years and one missing edition due to Covid, this year’s race will be the 10th edition. 

No rider has won the women’s Amstel Gold Race more than once, but with previous winners returning to the race this year, there is plenty of opportunity for a rider to write history. Current riders on the race’s honours list are Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Kasia Niewiadoma, Marianne Vos, Marta Cavalli and last year’s champion Demi Vollering. So far, it has been confirmed that three of those previous winners will return this year, ready to battle it out to write themselves into the history books, including Vos, Vollering and Niewiadoma.

Demi Vollering was the 2023 winner (Image by

Amstel Gold Ladies Edition teams: 

  • AG Insurance-Soudal Team
  • Canyon//SRAM
  • Fenix-Deceuninck
  • FDJ-Suez
  • Human Powered Health
  • Lidl-Trek
  • Liv Alula Jayco 
  • Movistar 
  • Roland
  • Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 
  • SD Worx-Protime
  • Visma-Lease a Bike
  • UAE Team ADQ
  • Uno-X Mobility
  • Cofidis Women Team
  • Chevalmeire 
  • EF Education-Cannondale
  • GT Krush Rebellease
  • Hess Cycling Team
  • Lifeplus Wahoo
  • Lotto Dstny Ladies 
  • Proximus-Cyclis CT
  • Team Coop-Repsol
  • VolkerWessels Women’s Pro Cycling Team

Amstel Gold Ladies Edition route: 

Similar to the men, the women roll out of Maastricht and head north up to the outskirts of Sittard. They will then head back north towards Simpelveld, taking in the constant succession of the most brutal climbs in the Limburg countryside. The women’s peloton will face eight out of 21 climbs before they enter the 18km-long finishing circuit, which they will complete four times. 

Route map sourced from the Amstel Gold Race website 

The finishing circuit has a total of 13 climbs, including the famous Geulhemmerberg, Bemelerberg and Cauberg. While they will have to ascend the Guelhemmerberg and Bemelerberg four times, the brutal Cauberg will be ridden a total of five times, with the last ascent coming just 2km before the run-in to the finish. 

In previous editions, many of the strongest riders have awaited the final ascent of the Cauberg to launch their winning moves. However, the race organisers this year have altered the final approach into the Cauberg climb – via the narrow Mathieu van der Poel Allee after the Bemelerberg – in the hopes that the finale will start earlier or brave attackers will have more of a chance at making it to the line first.

*Cover image by

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