Strong field in Ster Elektrotoer

Taking place in mid-June, the Dutch 2.1 categorised stage race Ster Elektrotoer has attracted a strong field, with a minimum of six ProTour teams at the start. The race will begin in Schijndel on Wednesday, June 15, and finish in Eindhoven on Saturday, June 18, one day before the new ProTour Team Time Trial in Eindhoven. Rabobank, Team CSC and Quick Step-Innergetic will be among the top teams, and the organisers already have a guarantee that last year's winner Nick Nuyens will be present.

As has been seen this season, the ProTour has made the top races stronger at the expense of the lower ranked races. For example, the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt and the Tour of Belgium have only been able to attract one or two ProTour teams. "We have decided not to grumble with the teams that will be at the start of the Ster Elektrotoer," said race director Jan Livius. "With six ProTour teams we're well off, and also the rest of the field is more than decent. Last year, we also had a strong field and we won't be much below that this year. The cooperation with the ProTour Team Time Trial in Eindhoven has borne fruit."

The race will feature five stages, but the overall distance has been reduced. It starts with a short, 124 km stage between Schijndel and Nuth, followed by an 11 km individual time trial in Nuth in the evening. The third stage will be ridden through the hills of South Limburg from Sittard/Geleen to Valkenburg over 181 km, and that will be followed by a stage through the Belgian Ardennes from Verviers to La Gileppe, over 189 km. The final stage from Buchten to Eindhoven is a flat, 135 kilometres.

The stages

Stage 1 - June 15: Schijndel-Nuth/Schimmert, 124 km
Stage 2 - June 15: Nuth-Nuth ITT, 11 km
Stage 3 - June 16: Sittard/Geleen-Valkenburg, 181 km
Stage 4 - June 17: Verviers-La Gileppe, 189 km
Stage 5 - June 18: Buchten-Eindhoven, 135 km

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