First batch of big names announced for Binck Bank Tour

The only UCI WorldTour stage race in the low countries is gearing up for its 15th edition.The first stage from Beveren to Hulst starts on Monday 12 August

Two weeks after the Tour de France the next big event on the calendar for cycling fans is the 2019 BinckBank Tour.

Jumbo - Visma, perhaps the most impressive team in the Tour so far, is also fielding a strong team in Belgium and the Netherlands. Mike Teunissen, the Tour's first yellow jersey, sprinter Dylan Groenewegen, Laurens De Plus, Dutch time-trial champion Jos Van Emden and Maarten Wynants form the backbone of the seven-rider line-up.

Deceuninck - Quick-Step, another team that made its mark on the Tour, is banking on Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels and 2013 winner Zdenek Stybar, three riders who scored big in the spring classics. That also makes them candidates to win the event, as this year's edition of the BinckBank Tour is also suited to classics riders.

Wanty - Groupe Gobert has received a wildcard for a line-up that includes Tour revelation Xandro Meurisse and Frederik Backaert. The final wildcard goes to Wallonie Bruxelles with Belgians Baptiste Planckaert, Kevyn Ista and talented youngster Lionel Taminiaux. The two Belgian outfits complete the field of 23 teams.

The varied course provides all the elements that Belgium and the Netherlands are known for in cycling. Flat stages for the sprinters, a time-trial for real rouleurs in The Hague, a short but arduous Ardennes stage in Houffalize and the Flemish cobbles

on the final day including the Muur van Geraardsbergen and other notorious climbs.

Lotto-Soudal has just finished a remarkable Tour with four stage wins. One of the highlights was Tim Wellens who donned the polka dot jersey for fifteen days. He was twice winner of the BinckBank Tour and will be supported by allrounder Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and super domestique Maxime Monfort who can look back on an enormously good Tour. 

The American formation EF Education First is bringing two heavyweights. Alberto Bettiol is a big name and triumphed earlier this year in the Tour of Flanders. The Italian will definitely be one of the many stars to keep an eye on. He will be supported by Sep Vanmarcke, who concluded a strong spring of classics by finishing in fourth place in Paris-Roubaix and who is sure to find a course that suits him. 

Roompot-Charles will also put forward a former winner, namely Dutch rider Lars Boom. Additionally, the Dutch-Belgian team is hoping that Jan-Willem van Schip, who recently won the prologue of the Baloise Belgium Tour, will provide the fireworks. Good old Pieter Weening is also certain to be selected. The Fries has had a strong season and will undoubtedly want to leave a good impression. Belgian cyclist Stijn Steels completes the Roompot-Charles seven. 

2019 BinckBank Route

This fifteenth edition of the BinckBank Tour offers the riders an enormously varied course to get their teeth into. The sprinters will be the first to get a treat, but the time trialists will also get a nice snack. The climbers will have to wait for the stage in Houffalize and the last stage when they will go into the Flemish Ardennes with a beautiful finish on the Vesten in Geraardsbergen.

With a Grand Départ in Beveren and arrival several kilometres down the road in Hulst, the first stage will meander the whole time through the border region of Belgium and Zealand, through the communities of the Linieland and along the Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe amongst others. This is followed by two flat sectors on Tuesday and Wednesday in West and East-Flanders, which offer a chance for a strong break away or an exciting sprint. The stage in Aalter on Wednesday is a fitting tribute to the hundredth anniversary of the original Flandrien Briek Schotte three times crossing the tough cobblestones past Briek's statue in Kanegem.

On Thursday, Houffalize sets the stage for a unique, compressed ride of the Ardennes: just short of 100 kilometres, consisting of three rounds, each one with a steep climb of the Bois des Moines and Saint-Roch, the annual opening climb in Liège-Bastogne- Liège. However, the rest of the stage is never really flat either. It is an arduous task for the peloton, and a wonderful spectacle for the fans of cycling on a Belgian public holiday. On Friday, the peloton starts in Riemst, but then returns to The Netherlands where the finish is in Venray.

Saturday, the clock is set in The Hague for the individual time trials over 8.5 kilometres in the heart of the Dutch residence. With a number of long stretches of straight roads, this race against the clock is cut out for the specialist and the really strong rider; not least world hour record holder Victor Campenaerts who is hoping to be able to race at 55 km/hr. here too...

The final stage mainly centres on the Flemish Ardennes. After starting in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, the ride goes via the Berendries, Leberg, Valkenberg and Ten Bosse to the local course, which takes in the climb of the duo Muur-Bosberg four times. As in previous years, the finish is on the Vesten, at the foot of the Muur of Geraardsbergen. That is where the winner of the 15th BinckBank Tour will be revealed to us!

2019 BinckBank Route

Tag: EnecoTour
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