Amstel Gold Race men LIVE – Can anyone stop Mathieu van der Poel?

Amstel Gold Race men LIVE – Can anyone stop Mathieu van der Poel?



The chase group were bearing down on them in the finale, and they might not have made it were it not for Vansevenant starting the sprint so early.

Benoot took third place behind them.

The Brit stormed past Vansevenant, and just about held off Hirschi to take the win.

Pidcock wins!

Vansevenant sprints early…

Vansevenant leading thr group…

Last kilometre!

He’s not succeeded.

Benoot attacks!

1,500metres to go, no attacks from anyone in the leading quartet yet. Are they all going to wait for the sprint?

Lapeira is now closer to a chase group behind that he is the leaders. If the front quartet don’t play too many games, one of them will surely win.

Lapeira is still adrift. He’d be a real danger in a sprint, seeing as he’s a specialist, but might just have too much of a gap to bridge up to.

They all seem out of contention now, though. The winner will come from the break.

Van den Bjerg overshot a corner in the peloton – he didn’t quite crash , but was held up.

Vansevenant is back.

Vansevenant is clawing his way back. Lapeira is a little further behind, he could also still join them.


He’s got a gap…

Attack from Pidcock!

Lapeira is flying! He’s closing down on the leaders.

Still it’s Healy leading the peloton, and still the gap remains about the same – now 35 seconds. 

Lapeira has attacked from the group of chasers. That’s very impressive considering he’s been out in front for longer.

They’re on the Bemelerberg now.

Pidcock, Hirschi, Vansevenant and Benoot are the four – the latter two you doubt would back themselves in a sprint. Will they try to attack on this final climb?

14 seconds now between the leaders and the chasers. The advantage is swinging towards this four.

Healy still leading the peloton, but isn’t making any inroads.


Healy is putting his nose to the wind in the peloton. EF’s plan seems to be for Van den Bjerg rather than him. 

Pidcock, Hirschi, Vansevenant and Benoot still out ahed, and they’ve about 6 seconds on the rest of the chasers. 

The Geulhemmerberg is done, meaning there’s just one climb left – the Bemelerberg.

That quartet has a small gap.

Hirschi attacks on the climb, only Benoot, Pidcock and Vansevenant are with him

Lotto-Dstny are joining EF in leading the peloton. They still have 29 seconds to make up though.

The others are joining up to them now.

Pidcock bridged up to Bilbao, and the two start the next climb, Geulhemmerberg, with a small gap.


As Honoré has been dropped, EF are now leading the chase. They have Healy and Van den Bjerg in the peloton, but nobody in the lead group anymore.

Those attacks have been brought back after the climb, and the peloton is back together again. They’re 33 seconds adrift from the leaders.

More attacks in the peloton, but Van der Poel isn’t among them. He’s having to lead a chase behind them.

Ayuso is dropped from the peloton.

But it’s also cagey in the peloton, where the same thing is happening.

It’s a bit cagey in the lead group, with riders looking at each other.

Now here comes the peloton, and Skjelmose leads onto it.

Hirschi leads, Honoré is dropped, but everyone else follows.

The leaders swing around to start the Cauberg again! Their lead is 40 seconds.


The Cauberg’s coming up in 1500 metres. This will be a crucial part of the race – he favourites who missed this move surely have to attack on it to try to bring them back and get back into contention.

Van der Poel has one teammate here contributing to the chase, which teams like Israel Premier Tech and Jayco-AlUla are also involved in.

In between, Uno-X’s is chasing alone Odd Christian Eiking, but he’s closer to the peloton than he is the leaders. 

54 seconds now for the leaders. The gap’s getting bigger and bigger…this could be the winning move.

Israel Premier Tech are leading the chase. They’re one of the few main teams to miss out on this move

Van der Poel is far from in control of this race. He doesn’t have any teammates leading the chase, and the lead’s gap has grown up to 40 seconds. 

The leading group now has twelve riders in it. They are are Pidcock, Benoot, Vansevenant, Hirschi, Mollema, Madouas, Pacher, Bilbao, Honoré, Vauquelin, Lapeira and Adrià

Behind them, the peloton is still pretty big. That climb hasn’t whittled it down much at all, despite it being one of the hardest of the race.

By this point in the race last year, Pogačar was already clear. This year, the race remains very open.

Four of the others from the group have rejoined the leading quartet as they crest the climb.

Benoot’s leading the group on the climb, and causing splits. He, Pidcock, Hirschi and Vansevenant are clear.

Tiesj Benoot also bridged up along with Pidcock. 

The chase group has caught the leading duo, just as they start climbing the Keutenberg.

More riders have jumped from the peloton to the chase group – including Tom Pidcock.


Mauri Vansevenant and Quentin Pacher have jumped across to the chasers, meaning there are six riders together now.

Honoré and Lapeira crest the fifth-last climb of the day, the Fromberg, with a lead of only about ten seconds over the chase group.

Kron and Jorgenson were joined by Pello Bilbao, but they’ve all been caught by the peloton.

Ahead of them, Marc Hirschi, Valentin Madouas, Bauke Mollema and Roger Adrià escaped a little earlier and are riding hard. 

Andreas Kron and Matteo Jorgenson have clipped off the front on the descent of the climb.

Despite having Honoré up the road, EF’s Richard Carapaz upped the pace at the front of the peloton on the climb. Van der Poel followed his wheel, and neither got clear.

Vervaeke has been dropped by Honoré and Lapeira on the next climb, the Eyserbosweg.

As for the front of the peloton, they’ve finished climbing and still no attack from Van der Poel or anyone else.

Max Schachmann has been dropped out of the peloton. That’s a surpirse, as the peloton is still big in size, and his recent form indicated that he would have been one of the favourites. 

Alpecin are leading the peloton as they approach the Kruisberg. Are they setting Van der Poel up for an attack?


The Kruisberg is the next climb, followed by the Eyserbosweg. It was on the latter that Pogačar made his attack last year – not, as we said earlier, the Eyserweg. It was a long-range move, but not that long-range!

It’s all settled down again, and Ineos have taken control.

It’s not a full-blown attack, he’s just setting a pace on the climb the’re on, the  Gulperberg.

Here he is, Van der Poel moves to the front of the peloton…

45km to go now, which is where Van der Poel made his attack to win the Tour of Flanders. Still no sign of an attack from him, or any of the race favourites – it’s been a subdued race so far compared with what we’ve grown used to seeing this spring. 

Louis Vervaeke

(Image credit: Getty Images)


This move is good news for Ben Healy and Benoît Cosnefroy, who are teammates with Honoré and Lapeira respectively. 

Honoré, Vervaeke and Lapeira have succeeded in building a lead. They have a lead of 20 seconds now, and are working well together. 

This is the last prolonged period of time without a climb in the race. The next will come in about 5km time, the first of nine tackled inside the final 50km.

Another crash in the peloton, four riders held up. But again, all are up and riding again. 

The 3 riders are Honoré, Vervaeke (who was the Soudal rider in the previous move) and Paul Lapeira.

For now it’s other teams attacking, with Soudal-QuickStep going again, along with an EF Education-EasyPost and Decathlon AG2R.


That move was short-lived, and their back together again.

Finally some attacks from the peloton. There are three riders – a Soudal-QuickStep, Intermarché–Wanty and Israel-Premier Tech.

Hermans has just made it back into the peloton, following his crash earlier. 


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nobody has yet taken the opportunity of the break being caught to attack and get up the road and form a new lead group. For now, the peloton remains all together.



The peloton climb the Cauberg (Image credit: Getty Images)

The break’s day out in front is over, and they’ve been caught. They didn’t last as long as they might have expected, but the pace in the peloton has been relentless for some time now. 

Bike change needed for Sjoerd Bax, one of the few riders in UAE Team Emirates’ line-up who is clearly a domestique. Any one of Juan Ayuso, João Almeida, Marc Hirschi and Brandon McNulty could have leadership status at that team.  

  Honoré has been caught, and the peloton are all together as they crest the climb.

There are big crowds on this climb, which will be tackled again later as the penultimate one of the race.

But as soon as they start the next climb,  Geulhemmerberg, there’s an attack by MikkelHonoré.

The peloton has settled down again now the climb has been completed, with Alpecin taking control again.


About 15 riders are in this Jungels group, but looks like they’re about to get caught.

A few more riders have joined now as they go over the top. They’ve got a lead of a few seconds.

Bob Jungels attacks, and has four riders go with him.

A Lidl-Trek rider leads the peloton onto the climb.

Time for the Cauberg! The leaders are on the climb now, the peloton fast approaching behind.

Apparently, Vermeersch has abandoned due to an illness he came under the influence of last year. 

The riders are approaching the Cauberg now, with Israel-Premier Tech and Alpecin-Deceuninck leading the peloton. 

A setback for Van der Poel, as Alpecin teammate Gianni Vermeersch abandons the race. The Belgian was superb at Paris-Roubaix, and played an instrumental role in dispiriting the chase after he launched his attack.

Many more other teams spotted at the front of the peloton, as the vying for position takes place ahead of the key climb of the Cauberg. EF Education-EasyPost, Lidl-Trek, Israel Premier Tech and Bahrain-Victorious are prominent.


The pace is up in the peloton, but still no attacks. The Eyserweg has been and gone, with no repeat of Pogačar’s move from last year.

The intensification of the race is also underway. The break’s lead is now down to just 2-40,  with Ineos Grenadiers and Alpecin-Deceuninck still the team leading the chase.



(Image credit: Getty Images)

They’ve just done the first of those five, the Plettenberg, and are now approaching the Eyserweg. This will be an especially interesting one, as it’s where Tadej Pogačar first took control of the race with the first of the explosive attacks that saw him solo to the finish for a massive victory. Will Van der Poel, or anyone else for that matter, take his lead and attack today?


There are only a few kilometres left in the women’s race – you can follow the final action here.


We might have done half of the race in terms of distance, but no in terms of climbs. There are still 20 of the day’s 32 left, starting with Eperheide in a few kilometres.

There might not be much happening, but the race is still going at a fair lick. We’ve been racing for three hours now, and have completed almost exactly a half of the race. Many records for fastest ever editions of races have fallen this spring, and it’s not impossible that Amstel Gold’s record from 1967 will be the next – especially if Van der Poel fancies another long-range attack.


Michal Kwiatkowski

(Image credit: Getty Images)


Looking back at recent past winners of Amstel Gold, it’s striking how many riders recognised as all-rounders have excelled here. Not just the modern crop such as Pogačar, Van der Poel and Van Aert, but also forebears like Philippe Gilbert and Michał Kwiatkowski, who rode a mixture of cobbled and hilly classics back when doing so was unusual. It’s much more common now, and riders such as Matej Mohorič, Matteo Jorgenson and Valentin Madouas are all gunning for a good result here on the back of cobbled classics campaigns.

Things might be quiet here, but big names are on the attack in the women’s race. A reminder that you can follow the action here.


Other contenders in great form include Mattias Skjelmose, who has already registered third and fourth overall at Itzulia Basque Country and Paris-Nice respectively, and excels in one-day classics like this; Max Van Gils, who rode brilliantly to finish second at Strade Bianche and has spent most his time since waiting for this week of racing; and Michael Matthews, in the middle of one of his best spring classics campaigns to date following a podium at Milan-Sanremo and another at the Tour of Flanders (before he was controversially relegated for dangerous sprinting).

Mathieu van der Poel

World champion Mathieu van der Poel (Image credit: Getty Images)

De Brabantse Pijl is usually a good indication of who will go well at Amstel Gold given its proximity to the race and similarity of parcours, so Benoît Cosnefroy is a rider to be fearful of given his victory there on Wednesday. Runner-up to him Dylan Teuns also looks in great form and is well-suited to this race, while Marijn van den Berg hugely impressed, and may well have won had he chosen to hold back and wait for a small group sprint rather than attack a few kilometres from the finish.


Ben Healy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The other rider along with Pidcock to initially stay with Pogačar last year was Ben Healy, and he too is riding today. That ride and runner-up finish twelve months ago came as a surprise, but he has now firmly established himself as one of the best riders in the hilly classics, and lines up this year as one of the top favourites.

It’s easy to see why Pidcock fancies his chances today. He has a great record in this race, having been one of only two men able to stay with Tadej Pogačar when he launched the first of his two big attacks, and was only denied victory two years earlier by one of the closest ever photo finishes.


Interestingly, it’s Ineos Grenadiers who are leading the peloton rather than Alpecin-Deceuninck. You’d have thought that the onus would be on Alpecin-Deceuninck, given Van der Poel’s favourite status, and just how superior they were to every other team last weekend at Paris-Roubaix. Evidently Ineos really believe in Pidcock, who skipped most of the cobbled classics in order to target this week of racing.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

The break is using this rare flat section to further build their lead. It’s now exceeding four minutes, with the next climb not for another 10km.

The Rijksweg has come and gone without incident. There’s now a period of relative respite, with no climb for over 15km.


The slackening of the pace has given the peloton a much easier time than over the last two climbs, the Korenweg and Nijswillerweg. That’s four of the day’s 32 (down from 33, due to the removal of Bergseweg) completed; the next one will be Rijksweg, in about 4km.


Alexander Hajek

(Image credit: Getty Images)


If a Visma-Lease a Bike rider had tried to get into the break in a classic at the start of the spring as Van der Sande is trying to do now, there would be far more panic from the peloton. It’s amazing just how much their stock has fallen since Opening Weekend, going from winning both of those classics to having highest finisher at Paris-Roubaix of just sixteenth Still, they have a strong looking line-up today, spearheaded by Tiesj Benoot and Matteo Jorgenson.

Four riders have now managed to establish some daylight between themselves and the peloton, with a thirty second lead. That quartet is: Tosh Van der Sande (Visma-Lease a Bike), Enzo Leijnse (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL), Alexander Hajek (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Zeb Kyffin (TDT – Unibet).


There’s been a slight alteration to the course, with the scheduled third climb of the day, the Bergseweg, set to be skipped. That’s due to a road traffic accident that has caused a temporary neutralisation in the women’s race, which is taking place further up the road – and which, incidentally, you can follow here.

Weather-wise, it’s dry and fairly warm out.This can be a ropey race, with roads notorious for road furniture and hazards, but a lack of rain should minimise the risk of yet more bad crashes dominating the headlines.



(Image credit: Getty Images)


Unlike Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders from the previous two weekends, there’s no initial early phase of the race without any obstacles. The first climb, the Maasberg, comes just 12km into the race, and the next less than 20km, and after that they keep arriving with increasing intensity throughout the day.

Mathieu van der Poel

Van der Poel on stage with his Alpecin-Deceuninck teammates before the start of the race (Image credit: Getty Images)

253.6KM TO GO

The riders are in the neutralised zone as we speak, at the start in Maastricht. Not long now until the race begins and attacks start firing out of the bunch. It’ll be a long day for whoever gets into the break, but a prestigious one.

Only about a quarter of an hour until things get going. It’s to be a long, taxing day, with 253.6km and 33 climbs to complete, and one that recent history of the race suggests will be an exciting one.

Today, Van der Poel has the chance to become the first man in history to win the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Amstel Gold in the same season. In fact, only four men have ever won Flanders and Amstel Gold the same season (Pogačar, Gilbert, Raas and Merckx), and a mere three Amstel Gold and Paris-Roubaix (Raas, Hinault and Merckx). If Van der Poel can indeed pull this one off, it will be one of the all-time great spring campaigns.

That said, it’s the same man who dominated the cobbled classics season who is again the hot favourite today. Mathieu van der Poel’s supremacy extends beyond just the cobbles of Northern Europe, and in the absence of injured rival Wout van Aert and defending champion Tadej Pogačar, will be looked at as the rider expected to animate and control the race.

You join us today for the start of Ardennes Week – albeit not actually in the region of the Ardennes. Amstel Gold may not be geographically located in the Ardennes Forest as La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but it shares the same kind of abundance of short, tarmacked hills that characterises those races, thus beginning the part of the spring where puncheurs rule supreme.

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews’ live coverage of Amstel Gold Race.


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