Tour de France 2019: starts Saturday, July 6th, on the Grote Markt in Brussels. The second Grand Départ ever in the Belgian capital is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first victory on La Grande Boucle.
The 106th edition of the Tour de France begins this weekend, with Geraint Thomas looking to win the race for a second consecutive edition. The first stage will take place in Brussels, where the Grande Boucle will honor local cycling legend and five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the next three weeks.
When is the Tour de France?
The most prestigious bike race in the world gets underway on Saturday, July 6, and will conclude on July 28. The riders will get two days of rest, after stage 10 and after stage 15.
Where is the Tour de France starting from?
The 2019 edition of France’s favorite tour begins in Brussels, before making its way into France. As is tradition, the 21st and last stage will see the peloton arrive at the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
NBC Sports will exclusively broadcast each stage of the Tour de France. Phil Liggett and Bob Roll will call the action during the stage, with Christian Vande Velde Chris Horner and Paul Burmeister providing analysis before and after each stage from the network’s “traveling studio”.
How long is the Tour de France?
Riders will cover 3,480 kilometers in three weeks and the winner will effectively be decided by the end of stage 20. The final stage is simply a ceremonial procession into the French capital.
Stages to watch
The Tour features two time trial stages this year, a team one on stage 2 and an individual one on stage 13. There are five mountain-top finishes, on stage 6, 14, 15, 19 and 20.
Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang is also expected to be in the mix for the yellow jersey, while Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ and AG2R La Mondiale’s Romain Bardet are France’s best hopes.