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Wreath of Belgian contenders in Amstel Gold Race: these are our stars

At 10.30 the start in Maastricht to the 53rd Amstel Gold Race. With departures winner Philippe Gilbert and Tim Wellens, Wednesday, good for the victory in the Brabant Arrow, there are two Belgian favourites at the start. But the (foreign) competition looks heavy for the start.

Follow here LIVE the Amstel Gold Race from start to finish!

Where in the Amstel Gold Race in the past invariably a new look riders it was opened since last year – when the track firmly together was shaken, and the majority of the toppers from the kasseiklassiekers present at the start in Maastricht. As do Niki Terpstra, the best in the Tour of Flanders, Peter Sagan, winner of Paris-Roubaix, and are also Sep Vanmarcke, Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen and Jasper Stuyven at the ready.

On the Belgian side are Philippe Gilbert and Tim Wellens on the highest ladder. Gilbert won the Dutch classic four times, and may, in addition to Jan Raas record holder with five victories. Wellens, for his part, demonstrated Wednesday in Brabantse pijl his top form with a clever solo for the victory. Also Tiesj Benoot and Dylan Teuns may schaduwfavorieten classified.

Yet it seems the greatest competition, as often in Dutch Limburg, to come from abroad. Men like Michal Kwiatkowski, Alejandro Valverde, Julian Alaphilippe, Wout Poels and Daniel Martin have already proven very well in the ardennes classics and get into the Gold Race their first chance to win.

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Especially Valverde knew after his heavy crash in the Tour last year and months of rehabilitation is a strong seizoensbegin. With title in the Tour of Valencia, Tour of Abu Dhabi and the Tour of Catalonia seems to be the 37-year-old Murciaan ready for his first victory in the Dutch province of Limburg. Both in 2013 and in 2015, he was second, in 2008, he was the third man on the podium.

These are our star for today is:

*****

Alejandro Valverde

****

Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet

***

Michak Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews, Tim Wellens

**

Julian Alaphilippe, Tiesj Benoot, Peter Sagan, Dylan Teuns

*

Daryl Impey, Michael Valgren, Nathan Haas, Rui Costa, Vincenzo Nibali

  • Who is your favourite for the Amstel Gold Race?

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