Choosing a Speciality Plan for AMSTEL GOLD SPORTIVE in APRIL

Hi there
I am participating in the Amstel Gold race sportive, 240 kms and a total of 35 hills with c. 3500 mts of total elevation gain.

I am going through the sweet spot then will do general build plans. I am considering doing the rolling hills plan to build the power base to deal with the climbs, but also have been looking at the climbing plan which is in a way similar. The profile of the race seems to be more rolling but wanted to have a different opinion what to choose: rolling or climbing plans: I attach a file with the the climbs.

Grateful for any tips/commentsAmstelProfile.pdf (39.4 KB)

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I’ve never done it, but I’d say general build and rolling road race.

I’m planning Liege-Bastogne-Liege Challenge next year, and my calendar is currently SSB (in two now), Sustained Power Build and then Climbing Road Race. Longer climbs in La Doyenne, so sustained power makes more sense, but then I keep debating general build v sustained power build and then climbing road race v rolling road race as I’m hoping to carry over into racing in the summer too! I probably won’t know until Feb whether I get into the race series that’ll probably make the final call.

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I’m planning to do LBL as well and debating which build/specialty to do. My thought was general build (it fits better with local riding conditions and other events) and rolling specialty. Are there that many 20+ minute climbs in LBL where sustained power and climbing specialty would be more beneficial?

I just assumed due to the nature of the riders it favours to be honest. But looking at it since this thread, longest is 4.4km! So back to General Build and Rolling Road Race I guess!

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Hmm I did the LBL summer edition (125KM, 2200 meters of climbing if I am not mistaken) earlier this year and found there were three different different types of Col’s in that edition.

First off, this year is my first year riding and my first couple of months on trainerroad so I am not an expert by any means and I think it depends on how well trained you are.

There were two Col’s where I think the sustained power would be of very good use, these were Col’s that were 1.5KM and longer and had sections ranging from 12% to 18% I believe.

There was one which was really stretched out 4.4 KM’s or something like that and had a peak here and there of above 10% but that one didn’t really hurt if you conserved yourself on the lower gradients, you should have enough to complete it.

And there was one which was relatively short, 700M but with 20% in it, for that one VO2 max training would’ve been useful back then.

I had trouble with the one’s I felt I needed the sustained power for, one I misjudged and blew up my legs/lungs at what I thought was the final push put there was another 300 - 400M to go.
The last one which was 2.2KM I believe with a 16% section in it was just too hard for me, it was at 115KM or so and I think I would’ve had trouble with it even if it would’ve been the first climb.

I think I was also mentally broken by and older man, he overheard my buddy and I talking about that climb before we got to it and he said; Don’t worry it’s only hard until the first bend and after that it’s easy.
I don’t think I have ever been lied to more in my life. Not taking advice from anybody during an event any more :wink:
My failure on the two Col’s actually lead me to trainerroad, I wanted to do more in the winter to have a better chance at completing climbs like that.

As for the stuff in between, I don’t think you need sustained power, unless you are really trying to get the best possible time. My buddy and I weren’t pushing in those sections and reserving energy for the climbs. We usually caught the persons on the climbs who were pushing in between, go figure.


I am going to do the SSBLV 1 (already done, SSBLV2 (nearly done), SPB LV and specialty will choose the climbing plan as I think it will help more in other events than just the Amstel Gold Race.

I did the Cauberg last year when I was watching a buddy of mine who entered the Amstel Gold Race.
I want to cycle around it as I was new to cycling and injured but traffic guard ordered me to go up.

So there I was injured, no warm-up and no real climbing experience at 8:30 AM going up the Cauberg and making it. I think that’s the point where I started liking road cycling :wink:.

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Thanks for your answers/guidance based on experience. Just to add, i regularly cycle, well lots, c. 275ftp and also cycle in Surrey Hills which is suppose to have, well in a way some relatively similar hills. To also add than i will follow up Amstel with Dragon Ride, i the plan was to do the climbing specialty plan right after Amstel in preparation for Dragon.

The thinking is that the climbs in Wales look a bit longer more sustained power, which once i read the climbing specialty plan summary i kind of thought this is better suited for Wales, whereas the gut feeling i got from the Amstel profile was the Rolling plan, have not done more scientific work behind that…

I’ve done the Amstel Gold a few times and I ride lots in that area. All the climbs are short and punchy, there’s really no point in even considering anything else than a rolling road race or similar. Just don’t expect to race it, it’s a really crowded event so just be prepared to meet people of all abilities, sometimes blocking the road on steeper climbs (first corner of Keutenberg is infamous for that).

But, if you are competitive (aren’t we all), then I suggest putting a lot of focus on endurance and vo2max work. Endurance will help you with the Dragon Ride too and and VO2max is always a good arrow to have in your quiver.

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Great thread for us Gran fondo riders!
I ride the Tour of Flanders, Fleche de Wallonie, etc every year. About 10 total over a year.
Added a 4day event in the mountains since last year, which I plan to do again.

So my plan is SSB1+2 / sustained power build / Century Speciality.
I’m a bit surprised noone here considers the century plan, isn’t it aimed at exactly these events where you are in the saddle for 8hours+, doing 200-300km?
From experience I know the first hills are never hard. But once you’ve done 250km a simple molehill can drain you if you don’t have a damned good endurance/repeatability. I’d rather have a slightly slower theoretical time per hill but end up “enjoying” those last hills.
First year i’ll use trainerroad, so tell me if i’m wrong in my thinking?

You do have a point, mid volume century plan would work pretty well in this case.

Century was an option I considered, but I’m currently going with general build/rolling road because it fits better with the plan for the year, not just the gran fondos. Most of my outdoor rides are group rides with friends under 100km and they always tear my legs off on the 10-15 minute climbs we have around here. This year I want to be able to keep up, so rolling road race for me!

If you’re going to be at the Ronde, there is a Trainer Road meetup planned for those of us doing it, so get in touch!

@Macy - If you fancy a meetup or to ride some of LBL together, get in touch! Haven’t signed up yet, but I’m planning on being there a few days either side of the weekend!

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