Van Vleuten and Spratt give Mitchelton-Scott two favourites at Amstel Gold

The Ardennes Classics kick off with Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, and Mitchelton-Scott will line up with two heavy-hitters in Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt, both of whom want to win.

“It’s no secret that my big target for the first half of the season are the Ardennes races, so I just feel excited and ready for these races to start,” Spratt said in a team press release.

In her latest Cyclingnews blog, Van Vleuten also took aim at the Ardennes Classics as one of her biggest targets post-knee injury, and with a special eye on Amstel Gold Race because it’s in the Netherlands.

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“I think that Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will probably suit me the best, but Amstel Gold is in the Netherlands, and so it’s my ‘home’ race,” Van Vleuten wrote after winning the Women’s WorldTour opener at Strade Bianche.

“Winning there would be extra special. It starts in Maastricht, a city where cycling is growing in popularity, but because of the Amstel Gold Race, it’s easy to see how popular men’s and women’s cycling has become in the whole of the Netherlands. Every year, I see more and more women coming to watch our race and to join in the Amstel Gold experience the day before.”

Van Vleuten returned to top form this spring after recovering from a significant knee injury suffered in a crash last September at Worlds. She has admitted that her form is stronger than she expected it to be so early in the season when she won Strade Bianche and then placed second at Tour of Flanders.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com