Amstel Gold 2015
Close to the Ardenne in Spring, with a few days to 'kill' while waiting for our 'home' to be prepared... one has to take in one of the classics of course!
So we found ourselves in Valkenburg the day of the Amstel Gold race.
This actually proved to be an excellent place to watch. Most bike racing there's a lot of waiting around for a few seconds of action to pass. You go there to experience the anticipation, hang out with fellow fans, catch perhaps a glimpse of your heros before it's gone in a blur and a scramble to the nearest TV ensues to see what happened next.
However, here in Valkenburg there are four passages of the riders: One early morning for the die hards, one mid-afternoon then two more in quick succession which by now is the business end of the day and plenty of attacking riding is happening.
Of course between these there is plenty to do in this beautiful little town. Naturally though, that mainly involves food and drink! There are still plenty of TVs out on display to see what's happening elsewhere on course too.
We positioned ourselves bottom of the Cauberg climb for passing one, then found a spot on the rather crowded slope for later in the day. Nothing better than seeing riders attacking full on just meters away.
Bottom of the Cauberg & an early start in the bars here for die hard fans. And no... they are not all sipping coffee!
Meanwhile out on course: calm before the storm. The famous Cauberg. Plenty of amateurs climbed this before the race.
Positioning for first passage of the riders. Easy enough this early to stand right on the corner bottom of Cauberg.
Here comes the break... there goes the break!
Tight corner, chase on... no smiles from the riders at this spot! Got some recognition from the team car though
Freebies from the sponsors. Shame it's their alcohol free product! Guess not everyone on course is 18+
Lunch time! Plenty of choices but also crowds. Valkenburg is a beautiful place to visit even when there's no race.
So it's after lunch & things are warming up... beer o'clock... at last!
For the second passage of the riders we're heading further up the Cauberg. It's getting busier by the minute!
Crowds welcome the break a second time. They aren't looking that tired yet, poor buggers don't have a chance though!
OGE guys looking strong second time up the Cauberg. Go Aussie!
Meanwhile... the party is really hotting up by the side of the course. Loving this crazy band!
Plenty of beer flowing mid afternoon. All part of Dutch cycle racing!
One of the TVs placed outside a local bar. Very handy!
Original break gone, but second formed quickly with some big names...
... so the chase is on in earnest!
Last climb up the Cauberg for a rather broken looking Gerro. Great day's work by OGE!
Not just rider's who'll be sore tomorrow! Long after the race has finished street & private parties go on!