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1997 Amstel Gold Race

1997 Amstel Gold Race
1997 UCI Road World Cup, race 5 of 10
Race details
Dates26 April 1997
Distance258 km (160.3 mi)
Winning time6h 11' 19"
  Winner  Bjarne Riis (DEN) (Team Telekom)
  Second  Andrea Tafi (ITA) (Mapei–GB)
  Third  Beat Zberg (SUI) (Mercatone Uno)
← 1996
1998 →

The 1997 Amstel Gold Race was the 32nd edition of the annual road bicycle race "Amstel Gold Race", held on Sunday April 26, 1997, in the Dutch province of Limburg. The race stretched 258 kilometres, with the start in Heerlen and the finish in Maastricht. [1][2] The race was the third fastest edition ever with an average speed of 41.689kmh.[3]


Twenty-two teams participated in the race.[4] There were a total number of 191 competitors, with 80 cyclists finishing the race.[2]

Pre-race favorites

Laurent Jalabert, who had not raced the Amstel Gold Race since Amstel Gold Race where he vowed never to race it again, was considered the favourite to win. With current Vuelta a España champion Alex Zulle as his closest rival even though they both ride for ONCE. Other main contenders were expected to be; Michele Bartoli (MG Maglificio–Technogym), Bjarne Riis (Team Telekom), Johan Museeuw (Mapei–GB), Peter van Petegem (TVM–Farm Frites), Erik Zabel (Team Telekom) and Rolf Sorensen (Rabobank).[5]

Race summary

The race started at 10am local time with the weather being heavy cloud and a cool 9 degrees Celsius, there was a possibility for a light shower. A small breakaway of three riders got away early they were John Talen (Foreldorado-Golff), Fabio Roscioli (Asics–CGA) and Frédéric Bessy (Casino).[N 1] After three hours of racing the trio had a gap of 5'45" to a chasing group containing Rolf Aldag (Team Telekom), Rolf Järmann (Casino), Marc Wauters (Lotto–Mobistar–Isoglass) and Erik Dekker (Rabobank). Then a further 1' 51" back to the peloton.

By the time they reached the Gulpenerberg, the gap the leaders had on the peloton had reduced to 1'20" with a new duo 50" behind them. Ten minutes later the all the riders were back together. More riders attack but are all eventually caught by the Peloton. At 65km to go, a group of 17 riders including some of the favorites created a small gap. Both Jalabert and Zulle missed the move. Mauro Gianetti (Française des Jeux) and Laurent Roux (TVM–Farm Frites) attack over the Cauberg gaining 6 seconds over the rest of the bunch. Riis responded and rides across the gap to the leaders, five more riders came across later.

The eight riders were together over the Muizenberg when Riis headed to the back of the bunch and looked for his team car. He had a front wheel puncture, and gave a rude gesture to his team manager for taking so long to change his tire. Riis had to chase back to the leaders flying past them and attacking as he caught them. Riis gains an advantage of 41 seconds holding his lead to the line. The group behind Riis splintered over the final climbs with Tafi winning the sprint for second.[6] He became the first Danish winner of the race.[7]



Cyclist Team Time
1  Bjarne Riis (DEN) Team Telekom 6h 11' 19"
2  Andrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei–GB + 46"
3  Beat Zberg (SUI) Mercatone Uno s.t.
4  Laurent Roux (FRA) TVM–Farm Frites s.t.
5  Mauro Gianetti (SUI) Française des Jeux s.t.
6  Michele Bartoli (ITA) worldcupjersey MG Maglificio–Technogym + 47"
7  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE + 48"
8  Andrei Tchmil (UKR) Lotto–Mobistar–Isoglass + 1' 08"
9  Rolf Aldag (GER) Team Telekom s.t.
10  Rolf Sørensen (DEN) Rabobank s.t.


  1. ^ The source doesn't list which rider only that the announcers says Bessy and it is most likely Frédéric.


  1. ^ a b "Amstel Gold Race results". 1998-01-24. Archived from the original on 1998-01-24. Retrieved 2023-10-05.
  2. ^ a b "32nd Amstel Gold Race". Retrieved 2023-09-22.
  3. ^ Weislo, Laura; Ostanek, Daniel (17 April 2020). "Teasing out the facts and figures from Amstel Gold Race". Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Startlist for Amstel Gold Race 1997". Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Bill's Guide to the Amstel Gold Race in Zuid-Limburg". Cycling News. 26 April 1997. Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  6. ^ "32nd Amstel Gold Race, World Cup Round 5 Netherlands, April 26, 1997 Results and Reports". 26 April 1997. Retrieved 1 February 2024.
  7. ^ "The Amstel Gold Race - As it Unfolds". 26 April 1997. Retrieved 1 February 2024.
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1997 Amstel Gold Race
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