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Kittel and Bouhanni lead star-studded line-up in windy sprint race

Photo: Sirotti






18.05.2015 @ 15:34 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This coming May 23 and 24, a tantalizing field of sprinters will come together for the 4thedition of the World Ports Classic. The highly anticipated confrontation between Marcel Kittel and Nacer Bouhanni will only come to fruition if they ride solidly in the Zealand Delta wind … 


On paper, the best sprinter in the world has little to worry about. But in the peloton, the hierarchy can be turned on its head by a down period, a bad crash and a persistent virus. Marcel Kittel, who has only raised his arms in victory once this year, at his first race of the season in the Tour Down Under Classic, was out for a few weeks due to a persistent virus, but will be back to racing at the World Ports Classic. In the sprints, the winner of four stages in the 2014 Tour de France will battle with the three-time stage winner on the 2014 Giro, Nacer Bouhanni, also off to a slow start. The Frenchman started his return to the top with a victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe and then took the top honours on April at the Grand Prix de Denain, and last week, with three 2ndplaces at Bayern Rundfahrt.


The perspective of a duel between Kittel and Bouhanni doesn’t limit the ambitions of the other finishers who will turn up at Rotterdam. With past World Ports Classic stage winners entered like Ramon Sinkeldam and Jelle Wallays, the expected peloton will feature cycling’s first flight sprinters such as Sam Bennett (in a very good shape after his 2 stage victories last week atBayern Rundfahrt), Gerald Ciolek, Andrea Guardini and Yauheni Hutarovich. The wind-blown crossing of the Zealand, towards Antwerp like the return towards Rotterdam, could offer a favourable terrain for the classic specialists. Among the contenders, the young generation has to show it is able to seize opportunities, and Tiesj Benoot and Florian Sénéchal are two who might be capable of creating something special.


18 teams: the main contenders


South Africa

MTN-Qhubeka: Ciolek (DEU), Janse Van Rensburg (ZAF)



Team Giant-Alpecin: Kittel (DEU), Sinkeldam (NLD)

Bora-Argon 18: S.Bennett (IRL), Matzka (DEU)



Lotto-Soudal: Debusschere, Benoot, Roelandts (BEL)

Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise: Jelle Wallays (BEL)

Wanty-Groupe Gobert : Napolitano (ITA)

Wallonie-Bruxelles: Demoitié (BEL)



Cult Energy Pro Cycling: Downing (GBR), Wegmann (DEU)


United States of America

United Healthcare: Förster (DEU)



Cofidis, Solutions Crédits: Bouhanni, Sénéchal (FRA)

Team Europcar: Boudat, Tulik (FRA)

Bretagne-Séché Environnement: Hutarovich (BLR), R.Feillu (FRA)

Roubaix Lille Métropole: Damuseau (FRA)



Astana Pro Team: Guardini (ITA), Bozic (SVN)


The Netherlands

Team Lotto NL-Jumbo: Markus (NLD)

Roompot Oranje Peloton: De Vries (NLD)

Metec-TKH Continental Cycling Team: Te Brake (NLD)

CyclingTeam Join’S-De Rijke: Mol (NLD)



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