Monday 30 August - The Benelux Tour opens with a flat race of 169.6 kilometres long. The start is in Surhuisterveen and the finish Dokkum, both places in the northern province of Friesland in the Netherlands.
The riders reach Dokkum as early as kilometre 50 before a number of loops round out the route. They have one thing in common: extreme flatness.
The roads are exposed so strong winds could contribute to the action. Effectually, it’s the only thing that sprinters should be wary off.
Last year’s Benelux Tour – or rather, it’s predecessor BinckBank Tour – was shortened to four stages. Two of these ended with a bunch sprints with Jasper Philipsen and Mads Pedersen taking the spoils.
Starting 17.5 kilometres before the finish, the Golden Kilometre serves three opportunities to win time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds within 1,000 metres. The first three riders on the line take 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
The 1st stage of the Benelux Tour starts at 13.00 and the race is expected to finish around 17.15 – both are local times.