It’s time to swap the Belgian cobbles for the Dutch climbs at Amstel Gold Race today, with the race exceptionally occupying Paris – Roubaix’s place in the calendar.
So who is IPT’s designated leader for the race? The road will dictate that says Sports Director Steve Bauer.
“We will have five guys on the start line this morning. Reto Hollenstein will assume the role of super domestique and in the other four riders; Daryl Impey, Jakob Fuglsang, Mads Würtz Schmidt, and Krists Neilands, any one of these guys can have a good day and go for a top result. We need to let it play out on the road and have open communication between the guys. Jakob is making his way back from illness so his form is a little unknown but Daryl and Mads are coming into the race with solid form after Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. I think our strength will be that we have multiple riders who can take on that leadership role as this gives us some freedom,” explains Bauer.
After a change in parcours in the last two years, Amstel Gold Race returns to the classic finale, where positioning is everything.
“We’re back on the classic Amstel Gold Race route which is a great course. Positioning for the Gulperberg into the final 50 kilometers is always crucial for selection and once you’re in the front, as always, it just comes down to who has the legs.”
Impey, IPT’s designated road captain, is eager to see some “off script” racing.
We may not have an outright favorite in the group but we have cards to play.
“It’s difficult to know with my form as normally by this point in the season, I’ve had some good results. Whereas, I have been up there but haven’t been able to really nail a result yet. But I have worked hard and I’m ready to race. We have a good team and quite an experienced group so we can take some confidence from that. We may not have an outright favorite in the group but we have cards to play, and guys who can follow moves as well. This gives us an opportunity to do something when the race starts to go a bit off script,” says Impey.
“It’s nice to be back on the original course, with the tricky, narrow roads. I think it will be a big advantage for those of us who have raced on this course. As always, I’m expecting a fun and fast race and hopefully we can be up there.”