Whilst the Flanders cobbles favour the strong men, the Ardennes are suited to the punchy climbers.
The prolific Peter Sagan will start as favourite but the likes of Philippe Gilbert, Alejandro Valverde, Simon Gerrans, Damiano Cunego and Joaquin Rodriguez will offer strong competition.
The 251.8km route in the Limburg region is peppered with 34 climbs, three more than in 2012, including four ascents of the often decisive Cauberg.
The 48th edition of the race sees three finishing circuits around Valkenberg with the finish line now 1.8km from the legendary Cauberg while the finishing circuit also includes the Geulhemmerberg climb, on the way to Maastricht, before the Bemelerberg.
Sagan is looking to become the second youngest rider to win the race and he warmed-up on Wednesday by adding another big victory to his palmares as he beat world champion Gilbert in De Brabantse Pijl. The Slovak was third last year behind surprise winner Enrico Gasparotto.
Gilbert, who won this race in 2010 and 2011, is looking to become the second rider to triumph at least three times, and it finishes in the town where Gilbert won his world road title last September.
Gerrans finished on the podium two years ago, and having recently won stages at Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Australian is looking forward to the race.
"Typically, this is a race of attrition. It gets harder and harder and faster and faster as the day goes on, and with each new difficulty, the front group becomes more and more select. The strongest guys on the day are left to contest the win," he said.
"I’m super motivated for this race. I’ve done well at Amstel Gold in the past, and I know I can do well here again. My goal is to go out there and win, and we have the team to do that this year."
Cunego crashed on the final ascent of the Cauberg last year but the 2008 winner is hoping for redemption this time around.
"One year ago, the race had a bad epilogue for me,” he said. “I want to change the story this year. I think I am in good condition, but of course the road will be the best test, as usual. The finish is different, I'm curious to see what it is like. It could favour some riders to join the head of the race after the Cauberg.”
Astanas Gasparotto won last year's race after out-sprinting fellow late attackers Jelle Vanendert but his preparations were hampered when he was struck by a truck while training on Thursday.
"I have a little bit of pain right now," Gasparotto said in a press release. "But I can go to the osteopath and everything should be good by Sunday."
Dutch riders have won the Amstel Gold Race a record 17 times, but not since Erik Dekker was victorious in 2001.
The 11-year-winning drought is the longest for Netherlands in the history of this race and Bauke Mollema is their best hope of ending that streak.
Most wins – Riders
5 Jan Raas (NED) 1977,1978,1979,1980,1982
2 Eddy Merckx (BEL) 1973,1975
2 Gerrie Knetemann (NED) 1974,1985
2 Rolf Järmann (SUI) 1993,1998
2 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 2010,2011
Most wins – Countries
Last 10 podiums
2012: Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) Jelle Vanendert (BEL) Peter Sagan (SVK)
2011: Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Simon Gerrans (AUS)
2010: Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Enrico Gasparotto (ITA)
2009: Sergei Ivanov (RUS) Karsten Kroon (NED) Robert Gesink (NED)
2008: Damiano Cunego (ITA) Fränk Schleck (LUX) Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2007: Stefan Schumacher (GER) Davide Rebellin (ITA) Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
2006: Fränk Schleck (LUX) Steffen Wesemann (SUI) Michael Boogerd (NED)
2005: Danilo Di Luca (ITA) Michael Boogerd (NED) Mirko Celestino (ITA)
2004: Davide Rebellin (ITA) Michael Boogerd (NED) Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2003: Alexandr Vinokurov (KAZ) Michael Boogerd (NED) Danilo Di Luca (ITA)
4 Jan Raas (NED) 1977-1980
2 Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 2010-2011
40 years - 143 days Joop Zoetemelk (NED) 1987
34-052 Gerrie Knetemann (NED) 1985
34-045 Sergei Ivanov (RUS) 2009
23 years - 038 days Gerrie Knetemann (NED) 1974
23-129 Jacques Hanegraaf (NED) 1984
23-147 Harrie Steevens (NED) 1968