The Cauberg climb defines the Amstel Gold Race, but organisers have grown tired of the familiar pattern of one big attack on the final ascent to the finish line, opting instead for a flat finish to the race for the first time in 15 years.
It's a controversial move, but one that could well pay off, with still plenty of opportunities for aggressive climbers to make use of the 35 hills and take that sprint out of the equation.
Race director Leo van Vliet explained the decision, saying:
By removing the last climb of the Cauberg we hope for a more open race, where there will be more contenders and the attackers get more chances. It is not the organisers but the riders and the teams that make the race. It is obvious that the Cauberg, which will now lie approximately 19km from the finish, will be less decisive.
Philippe Gilbert (BMC) attacks on the Cauberg on 2014 Amstel Gold Race
Image credit: AFP
WHEN IS THE RACE?
The 2017 Amstel Gold Race is on Sunday 16 April.
WHAT’S THE ROUTE?
The decision to move the Cauberg has upset traditionalists, but could lead to the sprint finish that the organisers clearly want.
The Cauberg will still play a big role, but the Amstel Gold Race has never just been about one climb. A mammoth 261 km of racing includes 35 hills.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Even with the course changes this will still be a punchy race. So many climbs bring numerous opportunities to attack, and previous instalments have consistently delivered... with the possibility of a sprint finish thrown in this time.
CAN I WATCH IT ON TV?
Eurosport, the home of cycling, will be covering the race live on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player.
TV Schedule for Amstel Gold Race
Sunday 16 April: 1300-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 1