The VSP must wearily pack its bags in Northern France and head over to the Netherlands. Hung over, you bet. After the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix, everyone is a little beat up. Those cobbles can wear a person down.
For those riders who can kill the short steep Limburg climbs, this is the beginning of their Spring Classics season. The profile of this race looks like a Japanese handsaw: if you are not going up, you are going down. This is the 50th edition of Amstel Gold and despite the race being named for a not entirely interesting beer, a lot of riders are keen for this.
Perhaps I point this out every year but a look at past winners of Amstel Gold makes it look like a race for the Pot Belge users of the peloton. Crank up every hill at maximum power and after thirty-something of them, gaps open up. When Stephan Schumacher won it in 2007 that should have been a tip off. Didn’t Lance do well in this race? Oh well, let’s not go down that rabbit hole.
Everyone knows the VSP deal: free entry and great prizes. No one has a commanding lead so everything is still up for the taking and bragging.