This ain’t no Amstel
Soigneur and Komoot present a collection of Iconic Dutch Rides, from a friendly loop to a hard day in the saddle. Ga toch fietsen!
It is a shame that the Gold Race is named after a bland pilsner from Amsterdam. The classic Dutch race twists and turns over the hills of Limburg, the Netherlands’ southernmost province, which is renowned for its joie de vivre. Limburgers still consider themselves Burgundians. On a sunny afternoon in Maastricht, the terraces will be packed with locals, who won’t be drinking Amstel. They would rather choose from the rich, heady beers their Belgian cousins make across the border or wines, often made from grapes grown on their own hills.
The same holds for cycling. Whilst tourists flock to Limburg to ride the exact route of the Gold Race, locals know that some of the most beautiful climbs lie across the border. Why stick to the Amstel Gold route and Dutch territory, when you can feast on Belgian roads too? It is all Limburg after all.
This route will let you taste the best of both worlds. It includes hills like the Camerig and Vaalserberg that have been made famous by the Gold Race, as well as a few climbs you might not have heard of, like La Planck and the Bovenste Bos, that will make you want to come back and explore.
While you are out there, make sure to stop for vlaai, Limburg’s famous fruit flans, filled with cherries, apricots, or apples from the region’s orchards. Or—why not?—rest for a while and nourish yourself with one of those Belgian beers.
Cycling is just a part of the good life in Limburg.
Just don’t think that the riding here is easy. There is a reason so many pros call the region home. Though short, its climbs are very steep, and they come one after another. Cycling in Limburg is like riding a roller coaster. Flying down the descent towards the Château de Beusdael will take away your breath. Getting up the Eyserbosweg, where so many finales of the Amstel Gold have started, will take all of your strength. By the end, you’ll be tired, and ready to join the Limburgers out on a terrace for a proper beer.
Header photo: Cor Vos
Click on the route below to plan your ride on Komoot: