Stage 6

Saturday September 04 2021 - Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to Houffalize - Hilly

Saturday 4 September - The longest stage of the Benelux Tour amounts to 207.6 kilometres. The riders tackle ten short and sharp hills between the start in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve and finish in Houffalize. Liège–Bastogne–Liège á la Benelux Tour.

The predecessors of the Benelux Tour finished three times in Houffalize in the last six years and on all occassions Tim Wellens to0k the spoils. In 2015, he soloed to triumph; in 2017, he bested Tom Dumoulin in a sprint-à-deux; and in 2019, he outsprinted Marc Hirschi and Laurens De Plus.

The route of stage 6 is almost a carbon copy of those editions. After a 153.2 kilometres run-up – featuring the Côte de Magerat and Côte de Bérismenil – the riders cross the finish line for the first time. Two hilly circuits are to follow.

Taking in four ascents, the local lap is 26.8 kilometres long. The toughest climb appears at the start of each round, as the riders leave Houffalize via the Côte de Saint-Roch, which is a 1,1 kilometres ramp at 11%. The route continues to the Rue Bois des Mines – or, ‘Road of the Wooden Mines’ – for a 1,2 kilometres climb at 8%.

The next test appears 8 kilometres later near La Chouffe brewery. The Côte Achouffe is 800 metres long and the averages 8%. There is hardly time for a breather at the top, as the narrow Le Vieux Chemin – 400 metres at 5% – begins 3.5 kilometres later. The last climb is crested 11 kilometres before Houffalize.

Starting 21.1 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 gain 10, 6 and 4 seconds.

The 6th stage of the Benelux Tour starts at 11.15 and the race is expected to finish around 15.20 – both are local times.