Now, can I have an Amstel?
2001: Erik Dekker beats out L.A.
to become the last Dutch hero!
With the impending start of the Ardennes classics this Sunday the Dutch Amstel Gold Race takes center stage. It's the 44th edition, young for a classic but already nestled importantly along with older races, Fleche-Wallonne (this Wednesday) and Liege-Bastogne-Liege (next Sunday).
The race has the distinction of being Holland's largest and most important pro race. Dutch fans will be out in waves cheering for a countryman to win. Long time coming as Erik Dekker was the last Dutchman to enjoy a Amstel beer or win back in 2001. The racers won't have an easy time of it. Holland's hardly flat and the riders will have to deal with 31 climbs slowly taking the sting out of their legs. To make it worst the finish ends atop the Cauberg, the decisive end to a hilly race going out to a classic climber!