2012 Amstel Gold Race: The Top 5 Contenders for Glory

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2012 Amstel Gold Race: The Top 5 Contenders for Glory
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Tomorrow sees the 47th running of the Amstel Gold Race, kicking off the Ardennes classics week and providing a good indicator of the favourites for Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The riders will battle up and down 256.5 km and more than 30 climbs on their way to the famous 1.2-kilometre finish up the Cauberg.

A slight change to this year's course means the riders will have less time to prepare for the Cauberg. The distance between the penultimate climb, the Keutenberg and the final climb has been shortened by around two kilometres.

Belgium's Philippe Gilbert is looking to become only the second man in history to win three Gold Races in a row. The last man to do so, Jan Raas, won four on the trot between 1977 and 1980 before adding a fifth in 1982.

However, he will face tough competition from an extremely strong field. Former winner Frank Schleck could fancy his chances, and it seems only a matter of time until 22 year old Slovakian Peter Sagan wins a big classic.

Some of the biggest names in the peloton will be on show. Tour de France favourites Cadel Evans and Andy Schleck will be riding, but it is unlikely that they will pose much of a threat. Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez is in great form and will fancy his chances of a high finish.

So who will come out on top? Here are the top five contenders to take victory in the 2012 Amstel Gold Race.

Have I missed someone out? Comment below.

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