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Greipel chases his first European victory in the sprint-friendly, windy two-day race

Photo: Sirotti

WORLD PORTS CLASSIC

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
20.05.2014 @ 18:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

ASO have released a provisional start list for the World Ports Classic which takes place in the Netherlands and Belgium this coming weekend. Unsurprisingly, it is dominated by sprinters that will all try to challenge André Greipel who is on a mission of taking his first European win of the season.

 

The two stages of the World Ports Classic, to be held this weekend between Rotterdam and Antwerp, will give André Greipel two opportunities to clinch his first season win on European soil... and settle the score with the race.

 

Sprinters spend their time leaving their calling cards all over the world, striving to stamp their names on the honour rolls of as many races as they can. One of the best at this game, André Greipel, has already grabbed a few wins in 2014, scoring several times in Australia, Qatar and Oman. However, Lotto-Belisol's German leader has been jinxed ever since his triumph on Muscat Corniche, to the point of falling and injuring his shoulder in Gent–Wevelgem. For elite sprinters, not a single race goes by without having to prove the mojo is still there. This is what it this weekend in Belgium and the Netherlands is all about for Greipel: conquering a challenge he has often tackled but never vanquished! After losing to Theo Bos and Tom Boonen in 2012, last year he was denied by Jelle Wallays, the sole survivor of the breakaway in the stage to Rotterdam. All in all, the Gorilla has been the runner-up in three out of four World Ports Classic stages.
 
Greipel will be looking to end his drought, but defending champion Nicolas Maes is back for more. There will also be a few Dutch pretenders to the crown. Belkin's Theo Bos is on a roll. Giant-Shimano, never short on sprinters, could give Ramon Sinkeldam the chance to make up for his three finishes as runner-up to Arnaud Démare in less than a week (at the Four Days of Dunkirk and Tour de Picardie).
 
18 teams, main contenders
 

South Africa
MTN-Qhubeka: Reguigui (ALG)
 
Germany
Team Netapp-Endura: Bennett (IRL) and Matzka (GER)
 
Belgium
Omega Pharma-Quick Step: Maes, Steegmans (BEL) and Alaphilippe (FRA)
Lotto-Belisol: Greipel (GER) and Roelandts (BEL)
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise: Wallays (BEL)
Wanty-Groupe Gobert: Napolitano (ITA) and Veuchelen (BEL)
Wallonie-Bruxelles: Delfosse (BEL)
 
France
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Poulhies and Lemarchand (FRA)
Ag2r-La Mondiale: Hutarovich (BLR), Dumoulin and Turgot (FRA)
Bretagne-Séché Environnement: R. Feillu and Koretzky (FRA)
 
Italy
Neri Sottoli: Andriato (BRA)
 
Kazakhstan
Astana Pro Team: Guardini and Gavazzi (ITA)
 
Netherlands
Belkin Pro Cycling: Bos (NED) and Hivert (Fra)
Team Giant-Shimano: Sinkeldam (NED) and Ahlstrand (SWE)
Cycling Team de Rijke: Vermeltfoort and Groenewegen (NED)
Metec-TKH Continental Cycling Team: Eising (NED)
 
Russia
Team Katusha: Kolobnev (RUS)
 
Switzerland
IAM Cycling: Pelucchi (ITA) and Ista (BEL)

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