Amstel Gold Race 2021 | Recap20 Apr. 2021
Stories from Inside the Peloton
TEXT / CAROLIN SCHIFF | PHOTOS / FELLUSCH
Competing in one of the biggest races on the professional cycling calendar is always exciting and something special. This year the Amstel Gold Race was a 17 km local lap around Valkenburg with 3 climbs on each lap. We had to race 7 laps. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 regulation, no spectators were allowed. But also without all the people standing next to the race course, you can feel that the atmosphere is special. The Amstel Gold Race is a unique race and everybody wants to perform on the highest level. My team Andy Schleck CP NVST Immo Losch got an invitation for this race. It is not easy for a Pro Continental Team to get start permission for a World Tour Race. For me personally, it was the 2nd race this season and I was aware that this would be a tough one.
The race day
The race day began early at 8.30 am. It was pretty chilly at the start with 2 degrees but sun, luckily. The race was fast and aggressive right from the official start. After 2 laps of racing the peloton was split into different groups. Because of bad positioning and also not the best legs, I was too far in the back when the attacks at the front started. It is hard to make it to the front if you enter a climb too far back in the peloton. I was aware of this situation but I wasn’t able to avoid it.
I found myself in a big group together with my teammate Georgia from New Zealand, but we weren’t able to chase back to the group in front of us. With 2 laps to go, the organization put us out of the competition as the men’s race had already started on the same race course. Our Norwegian national champion Mie Ottestad caught a group more at the front and was able to finish the race in 63rd position. Unfortunately, no one else on our team made it to the finish line. Most of the other Pro Continental Teams had no or only a few riders who were able to stay in the race until the finish.
The race was won by Marianne Vos of Team Jumbo Visma who outsprinted Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten. A group of 10 women in the front joined together where the finish was marked by a big attack from the polish Canyon rider Kasia Niewiadoma who attacked with the Italian Trek rider Elisa Longo Borghini. But due to a lack of unity they were caught on the Cauberg with just a few hundred meters to go.
Finishing a race is always the first goal
I personally was pretty disappointed about my race. I had no expectations but finishing a race is always the first goal. It is a bad feeling if you realize that the race is done and you did not take your chance to show yourself in such a big and iconic race. You don’t have that many chances in your life. But that’s bike racing and you just have to try to improve the next race. It was a great experience and I’m very thankful that I’m able to compete in those big races. I know that there are so many other women who are not able to compete in any races at the moment due to Covid-19. For now: Until next time!