Valkenburg, March 8th – This year’s Amstel Gold Race and Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition, part of the UCI WorldTour and the Women’s WorldTour, will take place on Sunday April 18th, on a modified circuit through the municipalities of Valkenburg aan de Geul, Maastricht and Eijsden-Margraten. The circuit, of approximately 17 kilometres, will be hermetically closed to day tourists and public. The organisation asks everyone to watch the race from home and not to travel to Limburg.
Leo van Vliet, Race Director Amstel Gold Race: “We are very happy with the message from the authorities that the Amstel Gold Race and the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition can be held on the April 18th. Since the cancellation in October 2020, we have continued to talk to the authorities and have been able to work out the plans in detail. We are aware that a lot can still happen towards 18th April, but we thank the national and regional authorities for their support in this process.”
Public not allowed
The three mayors of the municipalities have decided that the Amstel Gold Race can take place on April 18th, but they have attached conditions to it. The entire area around the circuit will be hermetically closed to day tourists and cycling public. No spectators are allowed on the circuit either. This will be strictly enforced by the municipalities. The organisation will ensure that the area remains accessible for residents and businesses.
Mayor Jan Schrijen of Valkenburg aan de Geul explains the decision to allow the organization to organize the Amstel Gold Race: „In October there was an emergency order and therefore other rules. With the temporary Covid-19 law the local mayors got authorized for these decisions. The current ministerial regulation makes it possible for the races to go ahead this year. The ministry of Health, Wellbeing and Sports has also granted permission. The Amstel Gold Race is regarded as a top-class sporting event and for that reason it can be organised this year. However, this means that no public is allowed and that all peripheral activities such as the VIP tents and the advertising caravan cannot take place. It is also important to us that the accessibility of all villages in the closed area is guaranteed at all times. The organisation has now had more time to prepare everything carefully. This is why we think it is responsible for the Amstel Gold Race to be held in our region again this year. We are confident that the organization will ensure that everything will run safely and the cycling fans can enjoy a beautiful cycling race in front of their television.“
UCI President David Lappartient also declared: „On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), I would like to say how pleased we are that the Amstel Gold Race and the Amstel Gold Race Ladies are being maintained this year, after their cancellation in 2020. I would like to thank the competent Dutch authorities for their support and for finding a solution with this 17 km circuit. It is very important that the races on our UCI International Road Calendar, and in particular the UCI WorldTour and the UCI Women’s WorldTour, take place, with of course all the adaptations made necessary by the current pandemic context. This excellent news confirms that our sport knows how to find solutions, thanks to the collaboration of all its stakeholders, despite the difficult circumstances of the health crisis. Congratulations to Leo van Vliet and the entire organization team of the men’s and women’s Amstel Gold Race!“
On Sunday 18the April, the elite women and men will be riding 7 and 13 laps of 17 kilometres respectively, with each lap climbing the Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg and the Cauberg. The final circuit of the men’s race will omit the Cauberg. The Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition will be held in the morning, with the start at approximately 8.30 a.m. and the finish around noon. The men’s Amstel Gold Race starts at 12.15 pm and is expected to finish at around 5.45 pm. Because of the current Covid-19 measures the start will not take place on the Vrijthof square in Maastricht, but within a closed area at the top of the Cauberg.
Organisation calls on everyone to follow race at home
„In order to close off the area hermetically to the public, we will deploy approximately 350 traffic controllers, security guards and staff. We therefore ask everyone to watch the Amstel Gold Race at home this year. The NOS will be there all day and will broadcast both the men’s and women’s races live, so the cycling fan who stays at home won’t have to miss a thing. I hope that everyone can enjoy an exciting race. Together, we really have to make sure that the race can take place in a safe way”, says Van Vliet.
Residents in the closed off area will be informed further in the coming weeks and will of course be able to access their homes throughout the day.
Tour version Amstel Gold Race
Earlier, the organisation had already decided to move the Tour Version of the Amstel Gold Race with 15,000 participants to Saturday 11th September. Already registered participants have been informed and can postpone their registration to 11 September. There are still a few tickets available. For more information go to www.amstelgoldrace.nl.