Prologue: Liege, 6.4km individual time trial
The start of the 99th edition of the Tour de France is an individual time trial around Liege’s city centre. Virtually identical to the parcours from the 2004 Tour de France, the time and the place where Fabian Cancellara started his illustrious Tour career with a storming win, this prologue will almost certainly put a TT specialist in the first maillot jaune of the race. Other than two hairpin turns as the riders bomb along the bank of the River Meuse, it’s a reasonably flowing and not excessively technical course, favouring those who can sustain high power levels.
Cancellara will want to show the world he’s well and truly back from his injury and take the win, but will no doubt get a run for his money from Tony Martin, David Millar and Bradley Wiggins – and possibly also Peter Sagan, who won on a not wholly dissimilar course in the prologue the Tour de Suisse and will be hoping to pick up useful early points in the green jersey competition. GC contenders will want to make sure they don’t lose too much time. If it’s wet weather on the day, the GC men will be careful to stay upright and safe.
Cycling the Alps’ interactive videos of the route can be found here.
Link: Official website