Circuit Franco-Belge: Last Euro stage race of the year

The 66th edition of the Circuit Franco-Belge is the last European stage race of the season, and takes place between September 28 and October 1. The four stages are all point-to-point road races, and there is no time trial. The race starts in Maubeuge, in the north part of France, on Thursday with a 175.8 km stage that ends in Quiévrain. Friday will see the riders go from Ghyvelde to Poperinge over 172.9 km of Belgian territory, followed by a 181 km stage between Mouscron and Dottignies on Saturday. Sunday's stage starts in Cuesmes and finishes in Tournai after 161.1 km.

The team line up is impressive, with 12 ProTour teams, three Pro Continental, and six Continental/National teams taking part. Quick.Step will be looking at getting their sprinters Steven de Jongh and Wouter Weylandt up for wins, while Davitamon has more of an attacking team with Bert Roesems, Henk Vogels and Nico Mattan. T-Mobile has fast men in Olaf Pollack, Mark Cavendish, and AG2R has JP Nazon and Tomas Vaitkus. Jaan Kirsipuu and Mark Renshaw will be the keys in Credit Agricole, and Rabobank has Graeme Brown for the fast finishes. Luke Roberts (CSC) has shown a bit of form recently, as has Baden Cooke (Unibet), and Nico Eeckhout will be riding in the Belgian champion's colours for Chocolade Jacques.

The stages

Stage 1 - September 28: Maubeuge-Quiévrain, 175,8 km
Stage 2 - September 29: Ghyvelde-Poperinge, 172,9 km
Stage 3 - September 30: Mousron-Dottenijs, 181 km
Stage 4 - October 1: Cuesmes-Tournai, 161,1 km

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