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New dates will see the race become a preparation event for the Tour de France while the course will follow a largely traditional pattern

Photo: ASO / B. Bade

WORLD PORTS CLASSIC

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
25.02.2014 @ 20:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The third edition of the World Ports Classic organized by ASO will be a mix of innovation and tradition. While the course for the windy, sprinter-friendly race will be largely unchanged, a new date will see the race play a completely different role in the cycling season.

 

The two stages of the World Ports Classic will this year take place between Rotterdam, Antwerp and Rotterdam on 24th and 25th May, three months earlier than for the two previous editions…

 

For its third edition, the World Ports Classic will again be following the route taken for its creation in 2012. As a result, the pack will be awaited in Rotterdam for a return journey that will last two days with Antwerp as the mid-way point.

 

The riders will start their efforts with an eventful 191-km stage. The crossing of Zeeland during a part of the day will place the pretenders for victory under the constant threat of splits in the pack. After a night in the city of diamonds, the race will head north again along a 163-km route during which the World Ports Classic, in addition to two cobbled sections, will make a visit to the city of Breda for the first time, one hundred kilometers before reaching the finishing line in the port of Rotterdam.

 

Contested in the same geographical area as the previous editions, the 2014 World Ports Classic will take place in a different sporting context, because the change of date allows it to make a three month leap forward in the cycling season. Now organised over a weekend, the “windy race” is at the heart of a sequence of stage races in North Europe (the Four Days of Dunkirk, Tour of Picardy and the Tour of Belgium) which will witness the return to action of many of the elite in preparation for the summer’s major races.

 

For riders eyeing up a stage win on Le Tour, this will be a good opportunity to test their mettle.

 

The inaugural 2012 edition of the race was won by Tom Boonen while his teammate Nikolas Maes took the honours when the race was last held in September.

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