Amstel Gold Tourversion / Sportive 2012 - review
Feed stations excellent and timing chip great.
On road marshaling / policing and signage almost faultless (which over a course with thousands of turns through tiny hamlets over back roads, was amazing).
Marshals very cheerful and helpful despite some horrid weather conditions in the afternoon.
Roads almost without exception of excellent quality and the amazing 2 up cycle paths were a joy to ride on when the roads were unsuitable. This meant, with the excellent marshaling, that there were only half a dozen incidences of being in a road with a car all day.
Very good standard of riding and only 2 crashes on the course I as aware of and only 2 minor examples of dumbf*ckery /inattentive riding during the whole day.
Very friendly competitors, made three new friends during the ride with quite a bit of chatting.
There were fans out all day with a split between the 'proper fans' and those sitting in cafes at the foot of the Cauberg.
The finish was great, with covered seating for several hundred available.
I did not participate in the beer tent afterward and missed out getting my goody bag , as I was cold and wet and the prospect of drinking beer with the euro disco blaring was quite far from my mind, but I did get my finisher's medal which, in true practical Dutch fashion, also doubles as a bottle opener!
Website very good generally about race info, but the climbs could be listed in the order they appear on the race rather than alphabetically.
Minor annoyance of no PayPal or MasterCard payment options for non-€ currency entrants.
Efficient postal service for registration documents etc.
Staggered start worked well as there were thousands of cyclists and yet there was plenty of room for all of the competitors.
If you're staying in or near Maastricht, you can easily ride to the start in Valkenburg.
If you have done enough riding he the hills of Surrey, Sussex and Kent (or similar) you will be fine.
I can completely recommend this race and it is amazing to watch this on Eurosport once you have finished it.
Organising a chain gang? Entering a Sportive/Audax?
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