The new ProTour race through the Benelux region, that is based on the Tour of Holland, will also be known as the Eneco Tour. A four year agreement was signed over the weekend in Paris between the organisers and the large Dutch energy company Eneco. The race will take place between August 3-10 and will number eight stages, starting in the Belgian province of Antwerp with a prologue time trial, and finishing in the Dutch town of Etten-Leur with a 26.4 km time trial. It's a slightly different format to the previous Tour of Holland, and will include more stages through Belgian territory.
The race will be jointly directed by Dutchman Henk van Mulukom and Belgian Rob Discart, the latter who also organises the Tour of Belgium. "It's a combination of classic elements," said Van Mulukom. "We are aiming it at the classics riders. He hope to get the current Van Petegems, Boogerds and Bettinis at the start. Only a complete rider can win this race. With elements of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold Race and the Tour of Flanders, we hope to distinguish ourselves within the ProTour. At the end, a closing time trial will crown the tour."
Provisional stage list
Prologue - August 3: Antwerp ITT
Stage 1 - August 4: Antwerp (province) - Brabant (province)
Stage 2 - August 5: Brabant (province) - Sittard
Stage 3 - August 6: Beek - Landgraaf
Stage 4 - August 7: Landgraaf - Verviers
Stage 5 - August 8: Verviers - Hasselt
Stage 6 - August 9: Hasselt - Antwerp (province)
Stage 7 - August 10: Etten-Leur ITT, 26.4 km