Formerly known as the Eneco Tour, the BinckBank Tour will again visit the Netherlands and Belgium for a seven-day race through the low lands from Monday, August 7 to Sunday, August 13.
All Belgian and Dutch riders on the Cannondale-Drapac roster will take to the start in Breda for the first stage of the 2017 BinckBank Tour on Monday. Kristijan Koren and Irish road champion Ryan Mullen complete the line-up.
“The profile of the race suits this group very well,” said sports director Andreas Klier, who will be directing along with Charly Wegelius.
The BinckBank Tour will start with 169.8 kilometers of flat road racing, from Breda to Venray, in the south of the Netherlands. Stage two is a nine-kilometer individual time trial. It starts and finishes in Voorburg, just east of The Hague. Because of the short distance, it will be an essential stage for any rider with GC ambitions, Klier believes.
“The organisers made it a very interesting race, with a mix of several sprint stages and towards the end, three stages with a profile that allows you to go into attack,” Klier said. “The relatively short individual time trial will play a role once we talk about a possible GC result.”
Dylan van Barrle will target the individual time trial.
“It’s super fun doing a time trial in my hometown,” said Van Baarle. “Lots of people I know will come out and watch, so that will give me an enormous boost.”
The race travels to Belgium in stage three, offering a 185-kilometer flat coastal road race on Wednesday. The peloton will encounter the first undulating roads on Thursday, in a 154.2-kilometer stage that starts and finishes in Lanaken.
It’s back to the Netherlands in stage five, where the finish line will be drawn at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard-Geleen – the park that also hosted the very first Hammer Series back in June. The stage finish will be familiar for Dylan van Baarle, who came second in Sittard-Geleen in the 2015 Eneco Tour following a day spent in the break.
The BinckBank Tour finishes with two stages in Belgium, both around 200 kilometers in length. It will make the race interesting until the very end. The final stage includes a hilly closing circuit, a ‘golden kilometer’ at the 170 kilometer mark with three-two-one bonus seconds up for grabs, and a finish atop Muur van Geraardsbergen.
“I like this year’s route,” said Van Baarle. “The Ardennes stage will be a challenge for me, but I’m hoping for a good GC. My shape is where it needs to be. I just need to get my legs back in action after a little time off following the Tour de France.”
With a versatile line-up, Cannondale-Drapac will enter the BinckBank Tour balancing general classification and stage ambitions.
“As usual, you have to be attentive from day one,” Klier said. “We will try to contest the sprint stages with Wippert and Van Asbroeck. To realize a good overall result, we have to focus on the individual time trial and the last three stages. It’s still open who will ride GC.”
Cannondale-Drapac for BinckBank Tour:
Kristijan Koren (SVN)
Sebastian Langeveld (NLD)
Ryan Mullen (IRL)
Tom-Jelte Slagter (NLD)
Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL)
Dylan van Baarle (NLD)
Sep Vanmarcke (BEL)
Wouter Wippert (NLD)