The starting shot for the 2019 BinckBank Tour will sound on Monday 12th August. The day before, the teams for the only multiday UCI World Tour competition in the Low Countries will be presented in Hulst.
On its fifteenth anniversary, the BinckBank Tour will welcome an extremely strong and varied group of participants. The list of starters is peppered with both the starters of the spring competitions and the trendsetters from the last Tour de France. On the eve of the event on Sunday 11th August, they will be presented to the public on the Market square of Hulst. The teams presentation promises to be a cycle party that will kick off the BinckBank Tour with a bang.
EF Education First will be there with Alberto Bettiol. The winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen will be supported by Sep Vanmarcke. Deceuninck-Quick Step has also opted for the spring cyclists, prioritising Philippe Gilbert, Bob Jungels and Zdenek Stybar (overall winner in 2013). Alvaro Hodeg can attack the flat stages and hold Dylan Groenewegen's feet to the fire.
Peloton with a golden lining
Glancing at the riders from the spring competition, we would also highlight former Belgian Champion Oliver Naesen (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and his partner in crime and Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet (CCC). Movistar is counting on their Belgian spring rider and former-Belgian Champion Jurgen Roelandts. Another rider and definitely one to add to the list of outsiders, is Dylan Van Baarle. The Dutchman from Team Ineos was a ray of sunshine in the Tour and will now get a chance to prove himself. Additionally, Niki Terpstra also returns to the peloton after he was forced to abandon the Tour. Team Sunweb is counting on Jan Bakelants, Søren Kragh Andersen and the U23 World Champion Marc Hirschi.
Lotto-Soudal will be represented by a mix of attractive riders from the spring competitions and the Tour. Double overall winner Tim Wellens will encounter a tailor-made course and will be helped by Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst and Maxime Monfort.
Jumbo-Visma can look back on a phenomenal Tour and is bringing sprinting dynamite Dylan Groenewegen and yellow jersey wearer Mike Teunissen for the flat stages. Jos van Emden can try his luck in the time trial and Laurens De Plus can try his in the hilly climbs. Maarten Wynants is the super-domestique in this company.
Feast for sprinters
The yellow sprinting train that is van Groenewegen will not have an easy time because some serious competition awaits him. That competition might come from the Belgian corner with Jasper Philipsen, Timothy Dupont, Edward Theuns and Baptiste Planckaert. We can also expect fireworks from Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Christopher Lawless (Team Ineos), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Merida).
There are also wildcards for Wanty-Gobert and Roompot-Charles. The Dutch-Belgian formation is bringing Lars Boom (overall winner in 2012), Jan-Willem van Schip, Pieter Weening and Stijn Steels amongst others. At Wanty-Gobert, Xandro Meurisse will be the man to keep an eye on. The revelation of the Tour will undoubtedly be allowed to have a go in the BinckBank Tour.
This year, the varied course again contains all the elements that cycling nations Netherlands and Belgium are known for: from flat stages for the sprinters, over a time trial for the real racers in The Hague, to some serious climbs in the Ardennes (with a short, spectacular ride in Houffalize) and the Muur van Geraardsbergen and other well-known hills in the Flemish Ardennes on the final day.