The course of the 2020 BinckBank Tour was presented to the public at Limbricht Castle in the Dutch town of Sittard-Geleen. The Belgian-Dutch UCI World Tour stage race will depart on Tuesday 29 September in Blankenberge and will end on Saturday 3 October in Geraardsbergen.
Originally the BinckBank Tour was due to take place from 31 August to 6 September, but the coronavirus pandemic completely shook up the cycling calendar. One month later than planned, a shortened edition will go ahead.
"Of course we are monitoring the COVID-19 evolution closely," race director Rob Descart says. "We are anticipating a specific protocol for our race, according to the guidelines put together by the Belgian and Dutch authorities and in line with the advice provided by the UCI."
Check out the course of the 2020 BinckBank Tour 2020 with our animation HERE.
TIME-TRIAL IN VLISSINGEN, LOTS OF ACTIVITIES IN SITTARD-GELEEN, FINALE ON THE MUUR
Tuesday 29 September's first stage will head from Blankenberge to Ardooie on the flat roads of West-Flanders. The next day the race heads to the Dutch coastal city of Vlissingen for a 11 km individual time-trial. Keen hobby cyclists will get the opportunity to tackle the same course that day in a team time-trial around Vlissingen.
The Zeeland province will also host the start of the third stage in Philippine on 1 October, with a finish in Aalter, East-Flanders. For the first time a cycling race will make use of the brand-new Sluiskil Tunnel south of Terneuzen. The finale of the stage will have three local laps with a finish at city hall.
On Friday 2 October, the peloton will head to Limburg with a start in the Belgian town of Riemst and a finish at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in the Dutch town of Sittard-Geleen. With a Golden Kilometre, a triple bonificatie sprint in the finale, on the legendary Cauberg in Valkenberg, the stage is promising to be a cracker. The stage will also briefly dip into German territory in the Euroregion Meuse-Rhin.
Sittard-Geleen will also host a cycling clinic on 2 October at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park, led by former pro cyclist Huub Duijn, who will teach school children from Sittard-Geleen and the German town of Selfkant. For the general public there will be a climbing time-trial on the Hillersberg for participants from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
The final stage of the 2020 BinckBank Tour will finish in the traditional cycling town of Geraardsbergen on Saturday 3 October. Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve will host the start for the first time in the race's history. After a long run-in on wide roads, the riders will arrive on a tough local course with four laps around Geraardsbergen. Every lap they will tackle climbs including Denderoordstraat, Bosberg and the mythical Muur van Geraardsbergen. Just like the past few years, the finish is drawn on the Vesten, where we will find out who will succeed last year's stage winner Oliver Naesen and overall winner Laurens De Plus.
"INTENSE, EXCITING AND SAFE BINCKBANK TOUR"
"It is obviously going to be a very special BinckBank Tour," says Dieter Haerens, country manager BinckBank Belgium. "We have a unique place on the UCI cycling calendar between the major stage races and the classics, with a shortened edition from seven to five stages. But now we will get to make our first visit to the province of Zeeland and return to cycling-crazed towns such as Ardooie and Geraardsbergen. Hopefully we can recover some of the lost time in this crisis and enjoy an intense, exciting but safe BinckBank Tour."