Impey and Woods to lead ISN in the Dutch Classic
Woods: I am back to my Pre Crash Form
Here is the recipe to guarantee a unique and exciting race:
- 3,000 climbing meters, 218 km of distance, 38 hills, 13 laps of 17 km, and sharp, 12% climbs.
- Ensure that the race will end on a narrow, flat Dutch road, with 7 km to the finish.
- Now, throw into the mix some of the best, most versatile and powerful riders in the world, the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic, Alejandro Valverde, and so on.
Does the outcome scream unpredictability?
“You bet,” says our Canadian Mike Woods, who calls it “one of the most dynamic and exciting races of the year.”
Woods readily admits that of the three climbing classics series (Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège will follow in the coming week), “[Amstel Gold] is the least suited to my skill set.”
That’s precisely why Israel Start-Up Nation will have double tactical options in this race, explains our Belgian sports director Eric Van Lancker. “If you want to enhance your chances to fight for the win in this race – and that’s our ambition here – you better have at least two cards in this game so you can react and play smartly.”
Eric, who won this race back in 1989 (“It was a different course then”), plans on having Daryl Impey as “the team’s first leader” with an option that Woods can take his chance under the right circumstances. “If this will end in a selective sprint, Impey can be our man,” said Eric. “But you really cannot predict the script with those sharp hills every 4 or 5 kilometers that make a recovery so difficult.”
With Latvian Krists Neilands, strong support riders like Biermans and Boivin, and Reto Hollenstein to protect our leaders, Van Lancker believes we have a fighting chance.
Our riders in their own words:
“Amstel will be the last race of my spring classic season. I look forward to my rest period, but first, we need to finish the last race in style. I look forward to giving my maximum for our leaders. With Daryl and Mike Woods, we have two outstanding leaders who can both do a great result. This pushes me to give everything to them. They proved in the last races that they are ready.
“With the local circuits, it will be a different race than other years. It is difficult to predict how the race will go. As a team, we are ready to fight for it, and I look forward to this race.”
“We are a solid team here, and I’m looking forward to fighting and enjoying this race as much as we can. We will do our best to get the best result with our team leaders.”
“After crashing in Pais Vasco [Itzulia Basque Country], I feel as though I have recovered well, and my form is where it was pre-crash. I’m hoping that I can use the condition to either land a result or set up Daryl for the sprint.
Race: Amstel Gold
When: April 18
Mike Woods – Canada
Daryl Impey – South Africa
Reto Hollenstein – Switzerland
Hugo Hofstetter – France
Guillaume Boivin – Canada
Krists Neilands – Latvia
Jenthe Biermans – Belgium