The Tour de France waits for no one, the saying goes, but the cycling enthusiast really had to be patient for the 107th edition of the Tour de France. This afternoon at 14.00 hrs the peloton will get going and the Tour will start, nine weeks later than planned.
The riders will start on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and finish 156 kilometres later on the same spot on the Mediterranean promenade.
Flat is the hinterland of the coastal town almost nowhere and yet it seems to become a stage for the sprinters. At least that’s the commitment of the course builders, because the sprinters don’t get many chances compared to other years.
Two small and one large loop
After the start, the riders will pass the finish line twice before sprinting for the stage win. The first two times after a loop of about 40 kilometers, followed by a bigger loop of 74 kilometers.
The riders meet twice the same climb of the third category, the Côte de Rimiez. For the attackers it will be difficult to stay ahead, because after the last climb it’s still 59 kilometers to the finish.
Wins Ewan again?
Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan and Elia Viviani are the biggest contenders for the stage win and the first yellow jersey. For the Australian Ewan it could be a special victory, as he also won the last Tour stage last year.
When he knocked Dylan Groenewegen on the line on the Champs-Elysées.
Nice hosts for the second time the Grand Départ, the opening of the Tour de France. In 1981 the Tour started with a prologue which was won by the reigning world champion of the time: Bernard Hinault
The Frenchman was three weeks later the final winner of the Tour in yellow in Paris, it was the third of a total of five Tour victories of Hinault.
At the time there was also a Dutchman on stage: Peter Winnen won the youth classification in 1981.
Could there be another Dutchman on stage this year?
On Sunday 20 September, after 3,470 kilometres of course, we know the answer.