Laurens De Plus taking the overall win in the 2019 Binckbank Tour (Photo by Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)
Where: Netherlands and Belgium When: September 29 – October 3 2020 Rank: UCI WorldTour
The BinckBank Tour – formerly known as the Eneco Tour – is a WorldTour-level week-long race incorporating stages in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2020 it takes place between September 29 and October 3.
Thanks to its undulating terrain, its short, steep hills and cobbled sections, the BinckBank Tour already has the feel of the spring Classic that spring forgot; often featuring roads used in famous one-day races such as the Amstel Gold Race, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour of Flanders. As a result, it produces winners that wouldn’t usually be tipped for WorldTour stage races.
This race often attracts the biggest Classics names, this year may see less big names as it is just after the World Championships and just before the Giro d’Italia, with the Ardennes Classics starting in the same week. Some famous classic and sprinting names are bound to be drawn to the race though.
BinckBank Tour 2020 stages
The route for the 2020 race has been announced. Here are the stages for the slightly shortened BinckBank Tour 2020:
Stage 1, Blankenberge to Ardooie (132.1km), Tuesday September 29
The first stage of the race starts on the coast in the Netherlands before heading inland to a rather hilly circuit around Ardooie where they will take in four laps.
Both Super Eight sprints and the Golden KM will take place on alternate laps before the finish which is likely to be a sprint, but you can never be too sure on this sort of terrain.
Stage 2, Vlissingen to Vlissingen (11km ITT), Wednesday September 30
A almost pan flat individual 11km time trial that will suit the power men and will likely shape the race’s GC very early on.
Riders like Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) will suit this best.
Stage 3, Philippine to Aalter (165.7km), Thursday October 1
Another stage that starts off flat and finishing on a very punchy cricuit. The riders start with a starting circuit, though.
This is where they take in the first points intermediate sprint, which means the riders looking for the breakaway and that jersey will be very active.
As we get onto the finishing circuit, which the riders will take on four times, they again have another intermediate sprint and the Golden KM before an uphill finish to the line.
Stage 4, Riemst to Sittard-Geleen (195.4km), Friday October 2
The first of two major GC days to finish off the race start with stage four. This takes in a huge amount of climbing with barely any flat until they get to the finish line on the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard-Geleen.
This stage has been used before at this race and it always brings up some great racing.
Stage 5, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to Geraardsbergen (185km), Saturday October 3
The final stage of the BinckBank Tour 2020 once again takes in an incredibly difficult circuit that finishes on the Muur van Geraardsbergen, also taking in the Kepelmuur, Bosberg and Denderoordberg.
This is perfect practice for the Ronde van Vlaanderen that is coming up later in the month.
The Golden KM will be particularly interesting as it is just after the Bosberg on the fourth of five laps.
Former winners of the BinckBank Tour
2005 : Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC
2006 : Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
2007 : Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
2008 : Iván Gutiérrez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
2009 : Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) HTC-Columbia
2010 : Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Columbia
2011 : Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
2012 : Lars Boom (Hol) Rabobank
2013 : Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Omega-Pharma Quick-Step
2014 : Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
2015 : Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
2016 : Niki Terpstra (Hol) Etixx Quick-Step
2017 : Tom Dumoulin (Hol) Sunweb
2018 : Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
2019: Laurens De Plus (Bel) Jumbo-Visma