Tomorrow, Friday 31 August 2012, the very first edition of the World Ports Classic will start in Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
The idea for this race, organised by Amaury Sport Organisation, in collaboration with R.W.C. Ahoy and Creative Sponsoring, was born at the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2010 in Rotterdam. The race is made up of two stages, which will most probably both end in a bunch sprint, between two of the biggest European harbours in both directions.
In this article you'll find the race route of the World Ports Classic 2012 on Google Maps/Google Earth, the time- and route schedules and information about the race being broadcast on TV.
The World Ports Classic 2012 race route in Google Maps
1/ Friday 31 August 2012 - Rotterdam > Antwerp - 201 km
After the start from the Westerkade, the riders will go to Westplein, Van Vollenhovenstraat, Scheepstimmermanslaan, Vasteland, Erasmusbrug, Posthumalaan, Hillelaan, Maashaven, Brielselaan, Maastunnelplein, Dorpsweg and finally the Groene Kruisweg where they'll find kilometer 0 of the real start of the stage, 6.2 kilometers from where they initially started.
Once they started the stage, the riders will go West until Hellevoetsluis where they'll reach the coast and the different peninsula which form the province of Zealand. They'll cross these peninsula to the intermediate sprint on the Neeltje Jans island. When they get back on the main land, they'll find the feeding zone in Serooskerke and from there, they'll continue east until Hoogerheide.
In Hoogerheide they'll turn south to reach the border between The Netherlands and Belgium in Putte. They'll than turn right towards the second intermediate sprint in Stabroek from where they'll continue to the harbour and the quays towards the center of Antwerp. The finish will be in the Beukenlaan, at the end of a royal 600 meter long straight line where the sprinters most probably will battle for the first leader's jersey which they can take by winning this stage. This jersey which will only be worn one day (the next day) is not yellow but blue and will be sponsored by Cofidis.
In Google Maps this stage has been drawn in red below.
2/ Saturday 1 September 2012 - Antwerp > Rotterdam - 163 km
The second stage is shorter than the first one because it will quite directly go towards Rotterdam, via the province of Noord-Brabant in The Netherlands.
The start will be right in the middle of the harbour of Antwerp, at the foot of the Museum aan de Stroom and the Nassaubrug. From there the riders will follow the Sint-Laureiskaai, Bataviastraat, Dinantstraat, Rijnkaai, Oosterweelsteenweg, Siberiastraat, Straatsburgbrug, Vosseschijnstraat, Korte Wielenstraat, Havanastraat, Merksem, Victor Govaerslaan, Maantjessteenweg, Ringlaan, Merksemheidelaan, Winkelstap, SCHOTEN, Calesbergdreef, Ridder Walter Van Havrelaan and finally the Kopstraat / N115 where they'll really start the stage at 11.5 kilometers from the place where they left the harbour.
From there the riders will go to the intermediate sprint in Brecht from where they'll continue north east to reach the border with The Netherlands close to Baarle-Nassau and the accompanying Belgian exclaves which form Baarle-Hertog. They'll continue towards Chaam where an after Tour de France criterium is organised every year, the Acht van Chaam. They'll than follow some smaller roads towards Galder where they'll find a 650 meter long cobble stones section (I haven't been able to find that on the map though so the drawn roads might not be the right ones there).
Via Rijsbergen they'll get to Etten-Leur where they'll find the feeding zone. Thanks to a detour via Langeweg to get to Moerdijk they'll reach another cobble stones section, a bit longer this time, 1,840 meters.
After a sprint in Heijningen they'll take the Haringvlietbrug towards Numansdorp. Continuing north, they'll get to the city of Rotterdam where the race route ends in a rectangle, mainly to get a longer straight line towards the finish at Boompjes (the final straight line is 400 meter long).
In Google Maps below, this stage has been drawn in dark blue.
The two stages in Google Maps
Below you can find a map on Google Maps containing the race route of these two stages: red for the first stage which starts in Rotterdam and dark blue for the second stage which starts in Antwerp.
The World Ports Classic's race route in Google Earth
If you prefer to watch the race route of the two stages of the World Ports Classic 2012 in Google Earth and thus for example do a virtual fly-over of the two stages, click here to download a KML file which you can open in Google Earth!
The World Ports Classic 2012 live on TV
Thanks to ASO's influence, the World Ports Classic will -right from its first edition- be broadcast on several TV stations in different countries!
The race can be seen live:
- in Belgium: on RTBF Friday from 1.45PM till 3.45PM and Saturday from 1.40PM till 3.40PM and on VRT (Sporza) Friday from 2PM till 4PM and on Saturday from 1.55PM till 4PM
- in The Netherlands on the 2 regional TV channels TV Rijnmond and L1 Limburg for the complete race and on Omroep Brabant on Saturday
- in France: on Eurosport Friday from 3.30PM till 4PM and on Saturday from 3.15PM till 4PM
- elsewhere in Europe and in Asia: also on Eurosport Friday from 3PM till 4PM and Saturday from 2.30PM till 4PM
Summaries will be shown in The Netherlands at the NOS on both days and on Friday on Omroep Brabant, but also in Australia (SBS), in the United States (NBC Sports), in Japan (J Sports) and in South-America (DirecTV).by Thomas Vergouwen
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