Amstel Gold - a few photos


We arrived in Valkenburg at about 10am. We thought that we'd have to park miles away and walk into the village, but actually were able to snaffle the last parking place in a little car park by the church, right in the centre of Valkenburg and opposite the Amstel Gold Experience. So we thought that we'd better begin by having the Amstel Gold Experience as it was early enough in the day that we didn't have to worry about driving back.

A while later we headed out to the Cauberg. We were able to get a good spot by the barriers for the first circuit - it wasn't particularly crowded.

And pretty soon the riders were coming up:


Amstel Gold April, 2013 (via Retancourt1)

This was the peloton coming up:


Amstel Gold, April, 2013 (via Retancourt1)

And the face (and tongue) of concentration:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

More pain from the Accent Job boys. Well, no-one ever said that being in a break was easy.


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

Shot of Euskie team car:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

Well, Albertina actually rode this, so I figured it was the least I could do.

Then we decided to get some lunch before the race came round again and so we ambled back into Valkenburg and had excellent cheeseburgers and frites in a bar. We decided that as Amstel Gold had the advantage of having a race named after it we really ought to give our support to some other beers. I think this was the point where we switched to Leffe, but I'm not sure. Oh and I bought a new cycling jersey. orange one. I also came to the conclusion that this concept of race that comes round to you, while you drink and shop in between is a really good one.

After lunch and shopping we returned to the Cauberg. We were a little further up for the second circuit, standing with some guys who had this flag:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

They turned out to be from the official PhilGil fan club.

Round about this point there was a mass panic because someone got a call telling him that Gilbert had crashed out and the entire Belgian contingent pulled out their mobiles and started frantically phoning, texting, surfing whatever. if the mobile network went down on Sunday afternoon that's why.

I was listening to the course commentary and trying to translate. This was a bit difficult because it was all in Dutch and I don't speak Dutch. I speak German, so I can understand about one word in five and it always feels like I should be able to understand more. I think that I more or less got the gist though.

Then the race came round again:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

There was a guy taking photographs with an I Pad who kept waving it in front of us and spoiling the view, so we decided to walk on up the course. On the way up we discovered this:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

This made me very happy.

After a few stops for refreshment - most of the cute kids in Valkenburg had spotted a business opportunity and set up stalls in front of their house and I consumed a lot of squash and cup cakes - we settled down about 400m from the finish. We mainly stopped there because there was some shade. by this time it was very hot. Then things started to get exciting.

This one's for Albertina -


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

As Astarloza came up everyone went crazy. The race commentary had been keeping us pretty well apprised of what was going on, but it tended to get a bit behind after the riders hit the Cauberg - this was a very exciting moment.


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

Henao (I think) chasing - he was looking pretty fed up for some reason. probably hot.


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

A bored cameraman. nice work if you can get it.......

And then he arrived:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

The conquering hero. The gap looked huge out on the course.

And then the battle for second place:


Amstel Gold, April 2013 (via Retancourt1)

Possibly my favourite moment of the entire race.

We wandered back over the Cauberg and got back to our car about 6pm. We drove out to the motorway with no hold-ups (amazing, considering the number of people on the move by then) and we were home just after 8pm.

Really great day!

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