Rotterdam your Sports City
When it comes to sport, Rotterdam is the number one sports city of the Netherlands. No other city features as many (top class) sports events each year. Annual events on the Rotterdam sports calendar include the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, the Rotterdam indoor 6-day cycling event, the ABN AMRO Rotterdam Marathon, and CHIO Rotterdam (an equestrian event). Rotterdam is also the proud host city of European and World Championships from time to time. And of course, it hosted the start of the largest annual sporting event in the world; the Grand Départ du Tour de France in 2010.‘Sports’ is practically synonymous with ‘Rotterdam’!
Cycling is quite popular in the City of Antwerp and cycling events invariably attract large crowds. Each year the City of Antwerp supports four supralocal and five local (road) cycling races. In addition, the City of Antwerp each year hosts an international cyclo-cross race (Scheldecross), a post-Tour Derny event, and a Trial Bike World Cup leg.
In 2013, Antwerp wore the title European Capital of Sports as the culmination of its concerted drive for greater sports participation. Sport is, in fact, the instrument of choice to create a community identity and collective pride. To this end, the City created a virtual sports club: Sporting A.
Rotterdam World Port
Rotterdam is one of the main ports and the largest logistic and industrial hubs in Europe. With an annual throughput of 430 million tons of cargo in 2010, Rotterdam is by far the largest seaport in Europe. The port is the gateway to the European market of more than 350 million consumers. Rotterdam owes its position to its excellent accessibility from the sea, the connections to its hinterland and the many companies and organisations which are active in the port and industrial complex. The port stretches across 40 kilometres and has a surface area of 10.500 ha.
Antwerp Port Authority
Antwerp has a rich tradition as a trade centre, a position due largely to its port that links the city to the entire world. The port of Antwerp is one of only two in Europe to rank among the 20 largest seaports in the world. Moreover it is home to the largest petrochemical cluster in Europe. Together, the port and port-related industry provide 143,000 jobs.
Antwerp Port Authority with its 1,650 employees plays a key role in maintaining the port of Antwerp’s top position, both in maritime and in operational terms: managing and developing infrastructure, promoting Antwerp internationally and building support among neighbouring communities.
In the MAS Port Pavilion, local residents and visitors alike can experience the port of the 21st century, thus strengthening the links between city and port. Antwerp Port Authority is an organisation of and for people, firmly anchored in social reality. We are convinced that a modern, world-class port must also be a sustainable port, with economic ambitions but also in harmony with people and nature.
Cycling on the borderline of land and water
The wind makes the difference
Cycling fits Zeeland. Only here, it’s possible to experience the battle against the elements. Zeeland has a long cycling history, including a rich competition history and many well-known cyclists. Think about tough men like Theo Middelkamp, Jan Raas, Cees Priem and Johnny Hoogerland. Men made of steel, moulded by the wind in the flat rides of Zeeland.
That same kind of wind, combined with straight roads, splendid panoramic views and impressive water courses, ensures that Zeeland is extremely suitable for races. That is why the first stage World Ports Classic will ride mostly in Zeeland for the greater part.
A lot of top cyclists fear the Zeeland route. It runs over water courses, bordering land and water. And it is – like all Zeeland’s cycling races – typified by the wind. When the wind is strong, crazy things can happen along the way. Then, the cyclists will have to ride in an echelon. Cycling in a long line with each cyclist close behind his predecessor’s wheel. Quite a challenge! Maarten Ducrot, from Vlissingen, once said:
“A mountain determines the pace. The wind saps your will more than anything. You can push yourself right through it, if you wish. But it wears you down so much, it never stops.”
More information about cycling in Zeeland can be found on
Jersey wearers after the stage 2
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