Friday: pick up at Brussels airport
Today someone from our organization will meet you at the Brussels airport and will assist you to our vehicle. We collect you from Brussels airport and bring you to our accommodation near Liège where we will spend the next 3 nights.The first job will be to assemble your bike and Go4Cycling staff will be on hand if you have mechanical problems or need any other assistance. We will then leave for a short ride to discover the area around the place where we stay.Tonight a Welcome Dinner is provided at the dining room of the hotel. There, the tour leaders will explain the whole itinerary and present the programme of the following three days. We’ll also explain how we ride in group, the pace, the organized evening city trips, et cetera. This is a good occasion to ask any questions you might have but of course also to meet the people who you will be spending your holiday with.
Saturday: riding the “Tour version of the Amstel Gold Race”
The “Tour version of the Amstel Gold Race” is one of the most popular rides on the amateur events calendar, with an annual registration of 12,000 riders (limited!). The six distances offered (60, 100, 125, 150, 200 and 250 kilometers) all start and finish in the village of Valkenburg, about 12 kilometers from Maastricht. The various routes appeal to a wide range of riders and fitness levels, and the rolling start times offer flexibility and ensure the routes are easily navigable by participants. Unique about this race is the beautiful setting. The province of Limburg in The Netherlands is a paradise for the cycling enthusiast. The rural environment, the often very steep, short climbs and the great differences in altitude within just a few kilometers, make the Limburg hills a real challenge. We are also just a few kilometers away from Vaals. This town is known for being the location where the borders of three countries come together, giving its summit the name of "Three-Country Point". The touching countries are The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Sunday: watching the “Amstel Gold Race” in VIP-style
The first Amstel Gold Race was announced for April 30, 1966, the national day of The Netherlands. The first start was in Breda. In order to reduce the distance to the hills in Limbourg, the start has been moved to Helmond first and than to Heerlen and finally to Maastricht where the race starts since a few years. The course has changed many times over the years. In 2005 the race took place almost entirely within the boundaries of the province of Limburg, but there have also been editions that covered significant parts of Belgium. Since 2003 the finish is at the top of the Cauberg hill, in the Valkenburg municipality. Before 2003 the finish used to be in Maastricht.The race is tough and selective, mainly because of the 31 hills that have to be climbed, some with angles as steep as 20% (Keutenberg). The Amstel can be confusing for first time riders, because the course features a lot turns. Some spots are visited more than once during the race.
Monday: a goodbye from Go4Cycling
The trip ends and we head our different ways. Maybe we’ll see you again on another tour. We will have a bus available to shuttle people to the airport during the day.