Your guide to the 2015 Tour de France in Utrecht (video)

The Tour de France kicks off in the Dutch city of Utrecht on July 4 and here's a look at what to expect from the Grand Depart

The Tour de France heads to foreign lands for its Grand Départ for the second consecutive year in 2015, with Utrecht hosting its first ever Tour stage.

A 13.8km individual time trial will kick off proceedings in the Dutch city on July 4 and will see the first yellow jersey handed out to the fastest rider against the clock.

The man to beat is Trek Factory Racing's Fabian Cancellara, who has won each of the last four times the Tour has started with a time trial, although the Swiss rider won't have it all his own way.

Home favourite Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin is among the favourites to wear yellow in front of the Dutch fans, while Etixx-Quick-Step's three time world time trial champion Tony Martin is sure to be in the mix.

Among the Brits, both Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are more than proficient against the clock and could give Team Sky an early boost.

Kicking off at 2pm (CET), all 198 riders will roll down the start ramp one after the other, with the final rider out the gate at 5.15pm.

Once the yellow jersey has been handed out attention turns to stage two, heading out from Utrecht towards the sea at Zélande, where the crosswinds will likely play havoc with the planned bunch sprint.

Take a closer look at the 2015 Tour de France route


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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.