2016 Eneco Tour Overview
It’s all change for the Eneco Tour in 2016, with the Olympic Games forcing a shift from the habitual August slot to late September, which has in turn triggered a revamp of the route to complement the race’s newfound proximity to the UCI Road World Championships.
The Benelux race has traditionally packaged hilly Classics terrain into a stage race format, but this year there are more flat stages in a bid to attract the sprinters who will be doing battle in Qatar just over two weeks later on the pan-flat Worlds course. Indeed, the Eneco Tour wants to position itself as the Worlds preparation race, and has even included a team time trial for only the second time in its modern history.
The 2016 edition will kick off on September 19 with a flat stage starting and finishing in the Friesland town of Bolsward in the Netherlands, and is followed the next day by an individual time trial in Breda. Two more stages for the sprinters follow in Belgium before the team time trial in Sittard-Geleen and then a hilly stage through Limburg. The race concludes on Sunday September 25 in Geraardsbergen after taking in the legendary Muur.
Most teams are yet to finalise their rosters for the race, but there’s already a host of big names set for the start line, including newly-crowned Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and reigning world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff). Tom Boonen is also expected to line up for Etixx-QuickStep in what will be one of his final appearances on Belgian soil, while six-time Tour of Qatar stage winner Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) will be one of the riders with his sights set on the rainbow jersey.
Eneco Tour 201619 September 2016 - 25 September 2016 | Netherlands/Belgium | WorldTour