The Renewi Tour, the only UCI WorldTour stage race in the Benelux, starts Wednesday with a flat stage from Blankenberge to Ardooie. The time trial in the Dutch town of Sluis that follows the next day, the Queen Stage to Geraardsbergen and the final hilly stage in Limburg can all thoroughly shake up the classification. Additionally, bonus seconds at the finish and along the course – as part of the so-called Green Kilometre – will also create extra tension and put the top riders on edge.
The Green Kilometre is the successor to the Golden Kilometre. In every consecutive stage, there are three intermediate sprints in the full finale. Within a kilometre, there are three sprints for bonus seconds: the winner gets 3 bonus seconds, the second 2 seconds and the third 1 second. So, in total, a rider can collect 9 bonus seconds within the Green Kilometre just like that. At the finish of each consecutive stage, the riders can also win bonus seconds that go towards the general classification: 10 for the stage winner, 6 for the second and 4 for the third. The name change from Golden to Green Kilometre is a nod to Renewi Tour’s ambition to become the greenest event on the cycling calendar.
The Renewi Tour aims to become a model event by making cycling structurally more sustainable. For instance, the separate collection and processing of waste on the riders’ buses this year will go a long way. The same will happen with the waste in the official ‘waste zones’ that riders are obliged to use during the race. The collection and processing of other waste (chains, tyres, etc.) will also be a priority. Furthermore, the organisation will drastically reduce transport by erecting fewer tents and making better use of existing infrastructure, they will also work with local suppliers as much as possible, and the race caravan will consist exclusively of electric and hybrid cars, and biodegradable paint will be used instead of asphalt stickers. These are just a sample of all the green initiatives.
When you say green, you say Jasper Philipsen. The green jersey winner in this year’s Tour de France will be the man to beat in the Renewi Tour sprints in the coming days. But there is no shortage of challengers: Jordi Meeus, Tim Merlier, Arnaud De Lie, Olav Kooij, Dylan Groenewegen, Elia Viviani, Giacomo Nizzolo, Jonathan Milan, Arnaud Démare, Sam Welsford, … Furthermore, we are looking forward to seeing strong men and classic riders like Matej Mohoric, Kasper Asgreen, Yves Lampaert, Greg Van Avermaet, Jasper Stuyven, Tim Wellens, Matteo Trentin, Marc Hirschi, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikkel Bjerg and Victor Campenaerts, as well as young super talents like Joshua Tarling and Thibau Nys. Check out the complete list of starters here >>
The Renewi Tour starts Wednesday with a sprint stage from Blankenberge to Ardooie. Thursday features a 13.6km time trial in Sluis, the only stage on Dutch soil. On Friday, the riders ride from Aalter to Geraardsbergen with the build-up taking in the Edelareberg, Leberg, Berendries and Tenbosse, on the local circuit the Muur van Geraardsbergen, Bosberg, Onkerzele Berg and Denderoordstraat, before finishing on the Vesten. The overall win will be decided in Limburg in the final weekend, with a stage from Beringen to Peer on Saturday, and on Sunday a hilly stage from Riemst to Bilzen including the Côte de Hallembaye, Côte de Wonck – both in the province of Liège – Slingerberg and Keiberg. Check out the detailed course of all stages here >>
Stage Schedule Renewi Tour:
• 22/8: Team presentation Knokke-Heist
• 23/8: Blankenberge – Ardooie
• 24/8: Sluis (Netherlands): Individual time trial
• 25/8: Aalter – Geraardsbergen
• 26/8: Beringen – Peer
• 27/8: Riemst – Bilzen
The finale of all stages can be followed live on:
• VRT Sporza
• RTBF/Tipik (op 27/8 op RTBF Auvio)