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Stage one
Date: Sunday, July 1
Start: Liège
Finish: Seraing
Length: 198km
Type: Hilly

The municipality of Seraing, on the outskirts of Liège, which the riders will reach after a long loop around Wallonia, saw a bunch sprint last time the Tour visited in 2001.

It is unlikely to witness one this time. This stage is similar to the first stages in 2008 and 2011, in Brittany and the Vendée, both of which finished with brief but steep climbs, favouring puncheurs Alejandro Valverde and Philippe Gilbert.

Here, the 2.5km Côte de Seraing to the finish, as severe as 14 per cent in places, is one of five classified climbs, all fourth-category, but all typical of an area that hosts the tough Classics, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

 

Related links

Tour de France 2012: Coverage index