Tour de France preview: Stage 1

“Are you ready?… I said, are you READY?… I can’t hear you at the back! … ARE YOU READY?”

The bikes are pimped, the riders are primed, the buzz has reached fever pitch. It can only mean one thing – it’s time for Le Tour to rock and roll. Three weeks of high stress, edge-of-the seat action and stunning scenery await us between Utrecht and Paris. Sit back and enjoy the ride, people, it’s going to be a thriller.

Saturday 4th July: Stage 1 – Utrecht, 13.8km individual time trial

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Route for Stage 1 time trial

Proceedings kick off with the ONLY individual time trial of the whole 21 stages. At 13.8km it’s not really one for the short, sharp prologue specialists, but neither is it long enough for the big time trial engines to really get into gear. As you would expect in this part of the world the parcours is flat, but the route itself is highly technical – just look at all those corners to be negotiated.

Everyone will want to be in yellow, and there are many capable of a big ride on the day… but just who will it be? My tips? Fabian Cancellara (Trek), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) or Alex Dowsett (Movistar).

Link: Official website

Header image: Midge’s own: Tour de France 2013

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