Milano-Sanremo champion Julian Alaphilippe and four-time winner Philippe Gilbert will lead the line for Deceuninck-Quick-Step at Amstel Gold Race.
The peloton has exited the cobbles last week and prepares to head into the Ardennes Classics, the last major one-day races of the spring, which kick off with the 54th edition of Amstel Gold Race, taking place from Maastricht to Berg en Terblijt over a 265.7km-long course, with narrow and twisting roads, and peppered with a total of 35 climbs.
Among the most testing hills there’s the Cauberg – the most used ascent in the history of the World Championships – Kruisberg or Bemelerberg, the last difficulty of the day, topped with 7.3 kilometers to go.
Winner of nine one-day races so far this year, including two of the season’s first three Monuments (Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix), Deceuninck – Quick-Step will come at the start with a strong team, headlined by Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert.
The Belgian squad for Sunday’s race will be rounded out by Rémi Cavagna, Dries Devenyns, Mikkel Honoré, Pieter Serry and Petr Vakoč.
“We come here with two leaders – Julian, who tested his legs on Wednesday at Brabantse, and Philippe, who skipped the race to recover after Paris-Roubaix and feels good, so we can look to Amstel with confidence. Dries and Pieter have a deep knowledge of the parcours and will play an important role supporting our two guys, together with Rémi, Mikkel and Petr”, said sports director Geert Van Bondt.
“There won’t be too much wind on Sunday and the temperatures will be nice, and that will make for a very fast race, which means we have to stay focused at all times.”