2015 Ronde van België (Baloise Belgium Tour) 27-31/05 2.HC

Finally they replaced the +- 15km TT by a prologue so Panzerwagen is not unbeatable anymore.

Provisional startlist

Stage 1: Bornem > Bornem 6,85km



Stage 2: Lochristi > Knokke-Heist 178,5km



Stage 3: Knokke-Heist > Herzele 201,1km



Stage 4: Lacs de l'Eau de l'Heure > Lacs de l'Eau de l'Heure 158,5km



Stage 5: Sankt Vith > Sankt Vith 199,2km



Previous winners:
2014 | MARTIN Tony
2013 | MARTIN Tony
2012 | MARTIN Tony
2011 | GILBERT Philippe
2010 | DEVOLDER Stijn
 
Final climb on the last stage is 2,2km @ 7%, getting gradually steeper to a maximum of 17% close to the summit; it's around 10km out, so could see some interesting racing. I think shortening the ITT to a prologue is a reaction to Martin's recent domination of the race since signing for a Belgian-based team; the Lacs de l'Eau de l'Heure stage isn't as hard as it seems unfortunately. The 3 climbs in the Herzele stage appear to be Valkenberg, Leberg and Berendries, so some decent climbs, but I fear that the 20km from them until the finish will probably nullify too much effect on the race, however the smaller teams and the interesting péloton the race usually throws out could make for some good racing here as well. It does look like we have Lippenhovestraat on the way in after the climbs are done with though, so that's bonus.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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This is always a nice race, but this year I'm going full fanboy mode and I only care about Mathieu van der Poel. :p
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Last year Van Der Poel looked to be very strong in the Ardennes, but because his TT was mediocre and everything came back together again in the Ardennes, he didn't get a very good GC. The shorter TT should suit him and the Ardennes stage looks to be a little bit better than last year. Maybe winning isn't realistic, but considering how strong he looked as a first year espoir last year, he should be able to do well, despite being 20 and not being dedicated to the road. :p
 
Btw, there's a new concept in this race: the Golden kilometer, which means there will be 3 (!) intermediate sprints in one single k. Each sprint rewards 3, 2 and 1" boni.

Sounds like a pretty good idea to liven up a race like this.
 
Re:

Flamin said:
Although not mentioned in the provisional startlist, Boonen is also confirmed to participate.
Boonen confirmed to race and in today's CN article he openly says that withdrawing from Giro and starting in Belgium was the plan. I had an impression that it was not allowed by some regulation to leave one race in order to start another one before the first one ended? But apparently this is not so, otherwise he would not be doing it, or?
 
Re: Re:

PeterB said:
Flamin said:
Although not mentioned in the provisional startlist, Boonen is also confirmed to participate.
Boonen confirmed to race and in today's CN article he openly says that withdrawing from Giro and starting in Belgium was the plan. I had an impression that it was not allowed by some regulation to leave one race in order to start another one before the first one ended? But apparently this is not so, otherwise he would not be doing it, or?
Correct. He needed permission from UCI and Giro organisation, which he got.
 
Re: Re:

Flamin said:
PeterB said:
Flamin said:
Although not mentioned in the provisional startlist, Boonen is also confirmed to participate.
Boonen confirmed to race and in today's CN article he openly says that withdrawing from Giro and starting in Belgium was the plan. I had an impression that it was not allowed by some regulation to leave one race in order to start another one before the first one ended? But apparently this is not so, otherwise he would not be doing it, or?
Correct. He needed permission from UCI and Giro organisation, which he got.
Mark Cavendish did it with the Vuelta and Tour of Britain in 2011.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Mathieu did pretty good! :)

I'm not quite sure yet who the favourite for the GC is, but that means it will probably be an exciting race. :p
 
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