Tour de France honours Eddy Merckx and starts in Brussels
The Tour de France will start in Brussels in 2019. The most important competitive cycling race is thus honouring cyclist Eddy Merckx. It will have been fifty years since he won his first Tour.
A great deal is still unknown about Le Grand Départ, as the start of the Tour de France is known. Will Brussels form the backdrop for a prologue or a road stage? And will other stages also be completed in Belgium? This will be announced by Tour organiser ASO at a later date. It will be the fifth time that the Tour has set off from Belgium. It is the second time for Brussels since 1958, the year of the World Exhibition.
But one thing is sure; everything will revolve around Eddy Merckx. He took part in the Tour de France for the first time in 1969 and immediately won. It was a convincing win too, with a lead of more than 17 minutes over second place in the final results table. Merckx was the winner of six stages and also won the green jersey (points classification) and the polka-dot jersey (King of the Mountains classification). Belgium went crazy; it had been thirty years since a fellow countryman had won the Tour. Merckx, nicknamed The Cannibal, would go onto win the Tour de France five times during his career.