Dutch stage race Ster Elektrotoer, taking place from June 17-21, will feature top sprinters such as Tom Boonen, Allan Davis (Quick Step), André Greipel (Columbia), Danilo Napolitano (Katusha), Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Robert Förster (Milram).
Over five days of racing in the Netherlands and in Belgium, the fast men will have to counter top breakaway specialists such as Philippe Gilbert, Leif Hoste (both Silence-Lotto) and Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam). Belgian squad Silence-Lotto will be particularly eager to score after a less than stellar start to the season.
Last year's winner, Enrico Gasparotto, will not participate as the Lampre rider is currently racing in the Tour de Suisse.
The event will start on Wednesday with a 6.9km prologue in Gemert, Netherlands, and finish in Helmond next Sunday. The race's queen stage on Saturday from Verviers to La Gileppe in Belgium will be a decisive one, as the route includes parts of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, notably the Côte de la Redoute climb.
The stages outline as follows:
June 17: Gemert prologue (6.9 km)
June 18: Eindhoven - Sittard-Geleen (175 km)
June 19: Schimmert - Schimmert (179 km)
June 20: Verviers - La Gileppe (189 km)
June 21: Beek - Helmond (179 km)
The participating teams are:
Barloworld (Hunter, Froome), Rabobank (Brown, Langeveld), Quick Step (Boonen, Davis), Silence (Gilbert, Hoste), Columbia (Greipel, Hansen, Renshaw), Katusha (Napolitano), Milram (Förster, Knaven, Terpstra), Saxo Bank, LPR (Ongarato), Cervélo (Gerrans, Hammond, Deignan, Roulston), Contentpolis, Landbouwkrediet (De Waele, Nys), Skil (Wagner, Veelers), Topsport (Bakelants), Vacansoleil (Bozic, Leukemans), Cycling Jo Piels, Krolstone and Van Vliet.