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