After a fantastic Tour De France, the Dutch and Belgian fans of cycling need not fear falling into a black hole. In preparation for the World Championship in Yorkshire, many world stars will participate in the fifteenth edition of the BinckBank Tour. The only multi-day UCI World Tour event in the Low Countries will start on Monday 12th August with a race from Beveren to Hulst.
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.
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.