April 16, 2021
As the go-to destination for creatives and cyclists alike, acknowledging the origins of sport can be awe-inspiring. While it's difficult to pick a favorite race, we wanted to highlight the inspiration behind a few of our favorite Thread + Spoke Spring Classic and Tour Collection Tees.
With a large number of the 2020 spring races postponed due to the pandemic, comforting news has arrived that the 2021 edition of the Amsel Gold Race is set to take place April 18, starting in Valkenburg, Netherlands. Under the agreement of local mayors, the modified race will feature a 17km circuit around Valkenburg and Maastricht.
Both men’s and women’s races will be closed to spectators as race organizers have asked the public to watch on television rather than traveling to watch in person. The elite women will begin first on the modified race circuit at 8:30 am racing seven laps total, while the men's race sets off at 12:15 pm, racing for a total of thirteen laps. Each lap will include climbs at Geulhemmerberg, the Bemelerberg, and the Cauberg, with the final circuit of the men's race excluding the climb at Cauberg.
Given the absence of in-person viewing, an extended live broadcast will feature full start-to-finish coverage of both events on NOS.nl and NPO1.
UCI President David Lappartient communicated his satisfaction for the modified proceedings of this years race saying, "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.”
While this year's race will certainly be different than years before, the origins of the original Amstel Gold Race trace back to 1966, making it one of the youngest Spring Classic races. Traditionally, the race normally marks the beginning of Ardennes week, a trio of races that make up the bulk of April’s hilly classic races. Although the final lap of the men’s circuit will exclude Cauberg, these historic climbs are what normally determines a winner. Still to this day, hometown hero Jan Raas happens to be the rider with the most wins at Amstel Gold, dominating during the 1970s and early 1980s.
As we approach the start of the race, it’s hard to know who will take home this year's victory. With so many challenging climbs, expect to see a small group or solo rider breakthrough to this year's victory. Given the defending champ, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) will be absent for this year's race, keep an eye on Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) who has finished inside the top seven in his last four finishes. Other riders to watch include Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroen) who have all pushed towards more and more promising positions in recent races.
This year should be, like many before, a spectacle to behold. As the time approaches, don’t hide your excitement, wear it! Explore our Tour Collection, which includes the coveted Amstel Gold t-shirt today.
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