When Saturday July 4
From Utrecht (Netherlands)
Category Individual time trial
Impact on overall 1/5
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Where are we?
We’re in the Netherlands for the start of the 2015 Tour de France. While the city of Utrecht plays host to the Tour for the first time, the race started in Rotterdam as recently as 2010.
The race will start and stay in Utrecht for the opening time trial stage, and it’s from here that stage two will also roll out, destination Zeeland.
In a city of 328,000 inhabitants, with a big university population, expect a party atmosphere here at the Grand Départ in Utrecht when the Tour kicks off on Saturday July 4.
What’s on the route?
A flat, fast, almost 14km-long city-centre time trial course awaits the riders who are lucky enough to have been selected to ride the 2015 Tour. Demonstrating that famed Dutch affinity with the bicycle, Utrecht is keen to show off its cycling infrastructure to the world, and the stage will in fact finish next to the city’s new bike park — that is, parking for bikes — at the main station, which has room for (get this!) 12,500 bikes.
It’s a short, sharp opening stage to the race, but you can guarantee that all 198 riders in this year’s Tour will be going all out for it. The yellow jersey is up for grabs and although there are really only five or six riders who can win today, many others will want to limit their losses knowing they could take over as leader if things go their way on the tricky stages that follow.
Anyone with an eye on the GC will have to avoid major losses over their rivals, and for those with neither in mind, the adrenalin of being on the Tour start line will be motivation enough.
C’est parti, le Tour de France 2015!
The Tour de France 2015 route