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Benelux Challenge Discussion
Benelux Challenge


The Benelux Challenge is one of the more unpredictable events on the calendar, combining hills, cobbles and a short prologue. In previous years this has been a race for the puncheurs and before that for the hybrids, but will we see a different result this year?

The Puncheurs
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Chaves795468747372
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Siskevicius785065737275
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Hategeka775665746966
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Squire776565707071
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Teklit775964757270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Lejman775158726468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Besada775854747477
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Weiss765968757074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gla.png Roche765568726966
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/esc.png Umerbekov765663746773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Nzeke766363726768
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Rabitsch755475737368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Anderson755868716775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/esc.png De Tier756663737269

If the cobbles prove to only have a minor effect, then pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Chaves and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Siskevicius are the likely favourites. However, a selective cobbled stage is likely to trouble all of the top puncheurs, with former winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Squire and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/esc.png De Tier the least likely to lose major time.

The Cobblers
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Kasperkiewicz737972737566
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Van Keirsbulck717851757368
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Richardson677863686861
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/trg.png Maes667863787366
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Taubel657860697364
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Orue647868777058
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Corwin667755666456
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Jacobs637761757062
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mck.png Manamalage597757716456
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Lagab707574706572
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Young697555747077
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Kumara677554747067
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cbx.png Abraha647561707172
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Kolev627566717067
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/esc.png Ruiz607556767258

Unlike the puncheurs, a few of the cobblers are relatively versatile. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Kasperkiewicz, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Van Keirsbulck, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Lagab and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Young are the names to watch.

The Hybrids
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ahe.png Kamberaj696770727376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Ngandamba697471737071
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nrh.png Coronel687361717070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Malecki677168687270
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Ovsyannikov677064707171
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/trg.png Honore696765706968
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnz.png Menicucci686863697067

There are also a few riders to watch who while not being brilliant on the cobbles or hills, aren't terrible either. While it is unlikely they will compete for the overall win, they may find themselves well placed at the end due to their all round abilities.

The Sprinters
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cen.png Guillen676166628182
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Carsi705566698082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Vingerling716272667979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Krieger716271747979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gla.png Bennett716374687979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Manarelli725971657979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Keough736267737979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Young746974707877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cen.png Cisse746373677877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Szalontay695264657877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/nvo.png Sobota726074657878
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cbx.png Bogdanovics736274697877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eue.png Fonseca746174687877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Vaquera716469657880
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ahe.png Canelon775765697883

With two flat stages on the menu, it's no surprise to see a strong sprinting field here. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cen.png Guillen and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Carsi are the strongest in terms of raw speed, but their weak support stats could hold them back.

The Prologue Specialists
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Keough80
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gla.png Cruz78
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Hofer78
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gcn.png Bille77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gla.png Downey77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cbx.png Van Baarle77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/gla.png Sebright77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Reus77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ahe.png Marchewka77
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/epc.png Vingerling76
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/zal.png Dzervus76
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ahe.png Kukrle75
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/ptm.png Rabitsch75

With a stage win and at least a day in the GC lead on offer, a number of the top prologue specialists in the division are here. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/azt.png Keough is the big favourite, but expect the first stage to be just as unpredictable as the race as a whole.


First nameLast nameTeam
XhulianoKamberajAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
HersonyCanelonAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
MaxLoschAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
TomThillAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
KrzysztofMarchewkaAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
ValentinStoenchevAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
MichalKukrleAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
AdamToupalikAdastra - Hell Energy Cycling
Johan Esteban ChavesAzteca - NBCSN
RobbieSquireAzteca - NBCSN
LukeKeoughAzteca - NBCSN
CesarVaqueraAzteca - NBCSN
Felix EmilioBesadaAzteca - NBCSN
ChequanRichardsonAzteca - NBCSN
German AnibalOrueAzteca - NBCSN
DadleyCorwinAzteca - NBCSN
SimoneVelascoBianchi - Campagnolo
FernandoBarceloBianchi - Campagnolo
MichaelStorerBianchi - Campagnolo
DmitryStrakhovBianchi - Campagnolo
AlexanderEvansBianchi - Campagnolo
MatteoSobreroBianchi - Campagnolo
EdwardRavasiBianchi - Campagnolo
NarankhuuBaterdeneBNZ Cycling Team
DylanSunderlandBNZ Cycling Team
MunkhtulgaErdenesurenBNZ Cycling Team
CampbellFlakemoreBNZ Cycling Team
JoelYatesBNZ Cycling Team
LukeMudgwayBNZ Cycling Team
SamueleMenicucciBNZ Cycling Team
JimmyMuhindoBNZ Cycling Team
MarcoGuillenCentovalli - Fiat
IssiakaCisseCentovalli - Fiat
MaximilianWalscheidCentovalli - Fiat
IoannidisKiriakidisCentovalli - Fiat
PatrickGamperCentovalli - Fiat
PascalEenkhoornCentovalli - Fiat
GinoMäderCentovalli - Fiat
AlessandroFedeliCentovalli - Fiat
KennyElissondeCYBEX Platinum
DylanVan BaarleCYBEX Platinum
MarisBogdanovicsCYBEX Platinum
KirillPozdnyakovCYBEX Platinum
TesfayAbrahaCYBEX Platinum
SimonGeschkeCYBEX Platinum
ErminVan WykCYBEX Platinum
DarioPuccioniCYBEX Platinum
EvaldasSiskeviciusDK Zalgiris
TesfarTeklitDK Zalgiris
KaiReusDK Zalgiris
DarijusDzervusDK Zalgiris
AndreasHoferDK Zalgiris
AlexandrOvsyannikovDK Zalgiris
LucasHamiltonDK Zalgiris
SulkhanAkhmaeviDK Zalgiris
NikitaUmerbekovEddie Stobart
DavideCimolaiEddie Stobart
GihanPushpakumaraEddie Stobart
FlorisDe TierEddie Stobart
SalvadorMoreno HernandezEddie Stobart
PavelSivakovEddie Stobart
DanielRuizEddie Stobart
NeilVan der PloegEddie Stobart
MichaelVingerlingEquinor Pro Cycling
MustafaCarsiEquinor Pro Cycling
Carlos AlexandreManarelliEquinor Pro Cycling
AzzeddineLagabEquinor Pro Cycling
DanieleRattoEquinor Pro Cycling
RomeoQuicibalEquinor Pro Cycling
RoryTownsendEquinor Pro Cycling
AlainQuispeEquinor Pro Cycling
ArmindoFonsecaEuskaltel - Elior
FabioJakobsenEuskaltel - Elior
Maral-ErdeneBatmunkhEuskaltel - Elior
AndresPaezEuskaltel - Elior
DavidGauduEuskaltel - Elior
MohammedAl MurawwiEuskaltel - Elior
JaimeCastrilloEuskaltel - Elior
Mohamad Izzat HilmiAbdul HalilEuskaltel - Elior
GasoreHategekaGCN ProTeam
GeremieNzekeGCN ProTeam
GaetanBilleGCN ProTeam
GeoffroyNgandambaGCN ProTeam
PieterJacobsGCN ProTeam
GracjanLejmanGCN ProTeam
SandorSzalontayGCN ProTeam
BramWeltenGCN ProTeam
SamBennettGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
NicolasRocheGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
FreddyCruzGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
SeanDowneyGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
IanRichardsonGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
AggreySebrightGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
AdamPetrie-ArmstrongGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
FelixEnglishGlanbia Foods Cycling Project
Nipuna ShiraManamalageMcCormick Pro Cycling
DanielHabtemichaelMcCormick Pro Cycling
Ka HooFungMcCormick Pro Cycling
ThomasRevardMcCormick Pro Cycling
NoahGraniganMcCormick Pro Cycling
BrendanRhimMcCormick Pro Cycling
ConnorBrownMcCormick Pro Cycling
AlexHoehnMcCormick Pro Cycling
GuillaumeVan KeirsbulckNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
RyanAndersonNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
Amith UdayaKumaraNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
GatisSmukulisNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
SamuelCoronelNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
RasmusWallinNENT Racing p/b Hootsuite
PrzemyslawKasperkiewiczNetia - Vonin
KristianSobotaNetia - Vonin
IliyanKolevNetia - Vonin
MortenReckwegNetia - Vonin
KamilMaleckiNetia - Vonin
Joanis AlbertNielsenNetia - Vonin
EricYoungOMV Petrom-albania.al
MartinWeissOMV Petrom-albania.al
AlexanderKriegerOMV Petrom-albania.al
ChristophTaubelOMV Petrom-albania.al
MarcoCanolaOMV Petrom-albania.al
StephanRabitschOMV Petrom-albania.al
BenjaminBrkicOMV Petrom-albania.al
OnurBalkanOMV Petrom-Albania.al
NikolasMaesTryg Insurance Cycling Team
HannesBergstrom FriskTryg Insurance Cycling Team
JannikSteimleTryg Insurance Cycling Team
MikkelHonoreTryg Insurance Cycling Team
MaxKanterTryg Insurance Cycling Team
CasperPedersenTryg Insurance Cycling Team
TorjusSleenTryg Insurance Cycling Team
El MehdiChokriTryg Insurance Cycling Team

this seems like one of least predictqble tours considering how random and unpredictabl e pcm18 has been at times? I wouldnt be shocked if all punchers lose dozens of minutes on the cobbled stage. all I need is top 10 GC. pleaze RNG
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
After the horrible results we just got in USPCC, I don't expect anything from this one. It may suit Gamper one day, but certainly not now. If we get something out of the sprint stages, that would be nice. But we didn't waste RDs for the puncheurs here, given the uncertainty with the cobbled stage.
I've got just a bit of everything here, a weird race for me to actually have both Keough and Vaquera for the sprints (I think this is the only time they ride in the same race). Keough obviously also here for that prologue. A very respectable set of puncheurs in Chaves, Squire and Besada, as well as my cobbles trio of Richardson, Orue an Corwin.

So while this race can vary wildly, our expectations are very high as we have just about every aspect of this race covered.
AZTECA - NBCSN pcmdaily.com/files/Micros16/azt.png
5* cobbles might make that stage rather interesting.
De Maar always loved this race, so I always loved it. It makes me sad he's gone, but at least I can remember the good times. Sad
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Hofer dont care
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
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One of my favourite races so a shame we couldn't be here this year, at least we should be back again to rejoin the fun next season.
cio93 wrote:
5* cobbles might make that stage rather interesting.

With that orange it more like 3* cobbles, but with this edition it will by tough enough I am sure.
Perfect start for us, as Keough secures the top spot, and should be a reasonable favorite for the flat stages coming up to maintain the race lead until he can safely hand it off to Chaves/Squire/Richardson/Orue ... well someone later on.
AZTECA - NBCSN pcmdaily.com/files/Micros16/azt.png
Guillén gets two KoM points - are you serious? Pfft

Tremendous work once again from our sprint preparation squad - if Stocker is absent, it's simply Walscheid who takes over. And as soon as the competition isn't too hard, Guillén is in the mix once again - win number 3 for him. Well done, guys! Seems like expecting nothing definitely suits the boys better...
The only bad thing is seeing Mader lose 2 minutes here, but maybe we'll see him in the breakaway for once.

Thanks for the report, nice read obviously.
Edited by Fabianski on 07-06-2020 18:42
Good ride from out team, who was able to keep our GC lead, and kept most of our potential favorites from losing any time. Need to keep up the hard work going forward to continue to lead this race from start to most importantly finish.
AZTECA - NBCSN pcmdaily.com/files/Micros16/azt.png
Luis Leon Sanchez
An anonymous first 2 stages but wow

PAEZ almost taking a stage win from a reduced peloton sprint is madness. Always great to see talents do well when they've got a couple years of development ahead of them! Up to 5th in the GC too.

Didn't expect anything from this so hopefully we keep fighting as a team!
Haven't seen founding Xero rider Nzeke around for a hot second, nice to see him Zubeldia-ing his way to a stage top 10 Grin
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
24/2/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don’t drink famous people.”

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
that was a good stage for us I guess. Reus losing time is suboptimal but ay, thats alright. absolutely no idea how PCM18 is gonna handle stage 4. Teklit being one of the best cobblers and not losing time yet gives me hope of him finally scoring decently
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
I think Stage 3 was my team's peak - I expect my team to struggle in the next two stages. But stranger things have happened
Thrilled to still hold a GC lead, and still have at least some of my riders in contention. My cobbles squad may be out of play now, but that does give some promise as now all three with their 78/78/77 cobbles skills can be used on tomorrows stage to help our more punchy riders or even Keough survive another tough stage.
AZTECA - NBCSN pcmdaily.com/files/Micros16/azt.png
Although I do of course appreciate the result, with Guillén taking over the green jersey, there definitely should be no way for him to finish 4th on this stage. He must have had a +25 daily form - well, in the US PCM hated him, now it's the other way round - I guess it just happens and probably shouldn't ask why. Anyway, these are much needed and completely unexpected points - I'll take them nonetheless.

Thanks for the report - was really surprised to see the results here!
Luis Leon Sanchez
Bit of a strange stage that. Not near as aggressive as you’d expect from the cobbled specialists which could be due to the GC gaps?

Regardless, great stage for us! Paez another stage Top 10 and moves to 3rd in the GC! Unfortunately looks like stage 5 will be more selective in the hills but, if it isn’t, he’s definitely in with a shot of a huge GC result!

We shall hope for the best from the youngster!
Ulrich Ulriksen
Yes. Was thinking we would see strong cobblers in the break. They really should have been. This race will yield us no points but good to see two of our young guys fighting to stay vaguely in contention.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
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