Eneco: Defending champ Jose Ivan Gutierrez among favourites

7-stage race may see victories from Boonen, Steegmans and Bennati

Spaniard Jose Ivan Gutierrez is positioned among the favourites to defend his title at the Eneco Tour of the Benelux, which gets underway in Sittard-GeleenI, Netherlands on Wednesday.

The seven-stage race starts with a 4.4km prologue and finishes the following Wednesday with an 18.8km time-trial in Mechelen, Belgium.

As well as Gutierrez, other road racers expected to challenge are Belgian riders Leif Hoste and Stijn Devolder, and Dutchman Joost Posthuma.

Sprinters Tom Boonen, Gert Steegmans, Daniele Bennati and Francesco Chicchi will be targetting success in the stages. This year's race runs through Belgium and the Netherlands.

For more information, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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