WorldTeam Andreas Kron kicks off first Ardennes campaign with Amstel Gold Race
On Sunday 10 April, atypically one week after the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Amstel Gold Race is scheduled for Lotto Soudal. It means the start of the Ardennes Classics with after the Brabantse Pijl and Flèche Wallonne, the fourth cycling Monument of the season: Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Lotto Soudal will be riding the Amstel Gold Race with the following seven riders: Victor Campenaerts, Sébastien Grignard, Philippe Gilbert, Matthew Holmes, Andreas Kron, Maxim Van Gils and Tim Wellens. In Maastricht, the starting shot will be given for 254 kilometres of racing, in which the riders will face no less than 33 climbs – including three ascents of the famous Cauberg – before finishing in Berg en Terblijt. For Philippe Gilbert – who won the Amstel Gold Race no less than four times – it will be his fifteenth and final participation at his beloved race in Dutch Limburg.
The 23-year-old Dane Andreas Kron opted for an altitude training camp to prepare for his first Ardennes campaign, in which he hopes to show himself.
“It was a pity that I missed the Ardennes Classics last year due to illness, that is why I am now even more looking forward my first full campaign with Amstel Gold Race, Brabantse Pijl, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège”, begins Andreas Kron. “Together with the team, I decided to prepare for the Ardennes Classics in a somewhat different way as I went on altitude training camp after Strade Bianche. Last week’s Volta Limburg Classic was the ideal race to get some race rhythm in the legs. I went on the attack several times but the legs still felt quite heavy, which was logical as I had just returned from altitude training camp prior to the race. After all it was a good test for what’s to come and the victory of Arnaud made it a successful day.”
“Prior to my first Amstel Gold Race participation, I did the recon of the course the day after Volta Limburg Classic. It is a nice course and with fans again allowed alongside the roads it will for sure be a fantastic day. Due to the twisty and narrow roads it will be a nervous race, in which the Gulpenberg will really be the start of the final I think. Afterwards it will be important to get over the steep Keutenberg with as many teammates as possible. It might be an open race so we need to have several options to play with. We have a strong team at the start so we can be ambitious for this race. Personally, I hope for top ten results during the Ardennes Classics, a podium spot would just be fantastic”, concludes the young Dane.