From Wednesday to Sunday, Intermarché-Wanty Gobert Matériaux participates in its national tour, which is divided in five stages on the territory of seven provinces. The 91st edition of the Belgium Tour (2.Pro) stays loyal to the tradition with a stage in the Flemish Ardennes, two days tailored for sprinters, an individual time trial and a queen stage in the heart of the Walloon Ardennes.
The event starts in Merelbeke and heads towards the Flemish Ardennes, where the peloton has to cover the Haaghoek, the Leberg, the Berendries and Tenbosse after 50 kilometer and before starting the four laps around Maarkedal, each of them containing Berg ten Houte.
The second day, the peloton has to cross the open fields of the Waasland and Meetjesland regions after the start in Beveren to reach the traditional finish on De Wandelaar in Knokke-Heist. The next day, the Basilic of Scherpenheuvel-Zichem and the Abbey of Averbode are the scenery of the individual time trial of 11.8 kilometer.
On Saturday, the queen stage around the Ardennes is divided in four laps of 44 kilometer around Durbuy, with each of them containing six climbs: Champs des Hêtres (2.1 km at 2.7%), Côte de Petit Somme (2.2 km at 5.8%), Côte de Bende (2.6 km at 4.3%), Côte de Hermanne (2.2 km at 5.8%), le Grand Houmart (1 km at 4.9%) and the Mur de Durbuy (1.2 km at 6.2%) where the finish is situated. The last stage race before the Tour de France of the World Team ends with a stage suited for sprinters towards Beringen.
Belgian riders Quinten Hermans (2018) and Loïc Vliegen (2019) both finished eighth of their national tour and again aim for a good end result, together with Sven Erik Bystrøm and Lorenzo Rota. Sprinter Gerben Thijssen can rely on the support of his lead our Boy van Poppel, with Taco Van der Hoorn, the winner of the Brussels Cycling Classic, completing the line up under the direction of Valerio Piva, Hilaire Van der Schueren andt Frederik Veuchelen.
Stage 1 (15/06): Merelbeke – Maarkedal (169,9km)
Stage 2 (16/06): Beveren – Knokke-Heist (178,9km)
Stage 3 (17/06): Scherpenheuvel-Zichem – Scherpenheuvel-Zichem (11,8km) (= TT)
Stage 4 (18/06): Durbuy – Durbuy (175,2km)
Stage 5 (19/06): Gingelom – Beringen (182,1km)