Lorena Wiebes and Marianne Vos at the finish of the 2024 Amstel Gold Race.

Wiebes celebrates, but Vos wins the Amstel Gold Race

Written by: Felix Mattis
Posted 1 month ago

Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx – Protime) celebrated, but Marianne Vos (Visma – Lease a Bike) is the winner of a somehow different edition of the Amstel Gold Race: After 45 kilometers the race was interrupted for more than one hour due to an accident of a police moto driver, which put sports in the background. After the break, only the final 55 kilometers were really raced – with three laps over the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the infamous Cauberg on the local lap around Valkenburg and Berg-en-Terblijt.

In the end a peloton of 22 riders sprinted for the victory and Vos crossed the line just a few centimeters ahead of an already celebrating Wiebes – with Norwegian Ingvild Gaskjenn (Liv – AlUla – Jayco) a surprising third ahead of Pfeiffer Georgi (dsm-firmenich – PostNL) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl – Trek).

For Vos it was her 251st UCI victory on the road as an elite rider and her third in this season, after already winning the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February and Dwars door Vlaanderen in March. But after the finish she also felt for her defeated compatriot Wiebes.

“I didn’t know if I would have it, but of course I feel for Lorena in such a moment. Of course she was ahead, but I felt in the last meters I had more speed and tried to jump. Then we had to wait for the call”, Vos said to ProCycling Women after the race. “It’s really nice to take the victory.”

"Of course I feel for Lorena in such a moment"

How the race unfolded:

In total 101.4 kilometres were raced in the hills of Limburg in the very south of The Netherlands. After the start some smaller breakaway attempts were launched and finally Quinty Schoens (VolkerWessels Team) and Clara Emond (EF Education – Cannondale) broke clear. The two of them only got a gap of 15 seconds though, before the race was put to a halt due to the accident of a police moto bike, which collided with a civilian’s car and needed to be brought to hospital afterwards.

45 kilometers were raced by then and the road was closed for the police to investigate the accident. Therefore the race could not move on and was stopped for a full hour, before the organizers led the peloton neutralized towards the finish in Berg-en-Terblijt, where the race finally re-started, shortened by 56 kilometres in total for the final three local laps.

On lap 1 over Geulhemmerberg and Bemelerberg the peloton raced fast, but stayed all together, until Longo Borghini created a strong six rider breakaway with an attack at the first passage of the Cauberg. Demi Vollering (SD Worx – Protime), Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Elise Chabbey (both Canyon – SRAM Racing), Anna Henderson (Visma – Lease a Bike) and Amber Kraak (FDJ – Suez) followed the Italian Champion and winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen. But with a group as packed with favourites, co-operation was not ideal and they got caught back four kilometres later on Geulhemmerberg.

Immediately Eva van Agt (Visma – Lease a Bike) launched a counter attack and only Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon – SRAM Racing) and Yara Kastelijn (Fenix – Deceuninck) followed. The trio opened up a gap of up to 1’30, before Lidl – Trek started to accelerate the bunch on the Bemelerberg and Longo Borghini launched her second Cauberg attack at the second ascent of the steep climb out of Valkenburg – this time creating an even bigger group, which was again reiled back in on the finishing straight in Berg-en-Terblijt.

There the three leaders Bauernfeind, Kastelijn and van Agt only had 25 seconds of their gap left and on the Geulhemmerberg with 18 kilometers left to race it seemed they would be caught. But on the downhill towards Maastricht the peloton let loose again and the gap re-opened to over one minute until the top of Bemelerberg again – a chance for the breakaway to make it to the finish? No, not really: On the final seven kilometers via the newly added Mathieu-van-der-Poel-straat the bunch accelerated with SD Worx – Protime and Lidl – Trek preparing the big finale and on the last ascent of the Cauberg the leaders were caught.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon – SRAM Racing), winner of the Amstel Gold Race in 2019, tried to attack twice on the climb, but the best riders stayed together at the front and so a bunch of 22 riders raced towards the finish line. Longo Borghini opened up her sprint early and closed the road to the left, where Wiebes almost got boxed in. But the dutch sprinter sneaked past the Italian rider at the barriers and looked as if she would win comfortably. She stopped pedalling and started to celebrate very early – too early! Vos pushed her front wheel forward on the final meters and just passed her compatriot on the line.

 

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