2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas of Team Sky is seen in the middle of the peloton. The 2019 race marks the centenary of the first time the iconic yellow jersey was presented to the race leader.
Photo credit: Radu Razvan/Shutterstock
The route of the 2019 Tour de France was unveiled on Thursday lunchtime. The race will pass within just over 100km of the grand duchy.
The 106th edition of the Tour de France starts in Brussels on 6 July 2019, as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first of Eddy Merckx’s five victories in the iconic race.
Merckx and other five-time winners Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain will be in the Belgian capital for the grand depart.
The 2019 race also marks the centenary of the first time a yellow jersey was awarded to the race leader, as Europe emerged with optimism from the dark days of WWI. Nine years later, in the 1928 race, Luxembourg’s Nicolas Frantz would become the only rider to retain the yellow jersey for the entire duration of the Tour.
Fans of the Tour can stay in Brussels to follow the team time trial on 7 July before the race heads south for stage 3, from Binche near Charleroi to champagne country, finishing in Épernay in France. Cycling enthusiasts with a taste for champagne could do worse than take 8-9 July as a holiday, as the fourth stage takes riders the 215km from Reims to Nancy, which is when the Tour will pass closest to Luxembourg. The following stage takes riders through the Vosges to Colmar.
The 2019 race features a tough mountain programme, with three finishes above 2,000 metres. It ends in Paris on 28 July.