The Tour de France 2019 will start in Brussels
We already told you last year that the 2019 Tour de France would start in Brussels. Now more details are known.
The starting point of the 106th edition, on Saturday 6 July 2019, is the Grand Place. The event will be paying tribute to the greatest cycling icon of all time, Eddy Merckx. It will be exactly 50 years ago that he won his first yellow jersey. His victory was celebrated at the exact same place, from the balcony of the town hall in front of a fully-packed Grand Place, making for memorable images.
He was the greatest of all time. Of the 625 races in which he competed, he won 525 of them. Paris-Tours was the only race which eluded his exceptional list of achievements. Although other riders, before and since, have won the Tour de France as many times as he did (5 times), nobody else has as many other races to their name. Before Eddy Merckx, the last time a Belgian passed the finish line of the Tour de France in first place was as far back as 1939, the West Flanders-born Sylvère Maes.
The first two stages of the race are also known. On Saturday, the cyclists will ride for 192 km. Starting from the Grand Place, they will travel via Molenbeek and Anderlecht to the Pajottenland. Then, they follow on to Ninove and Geraardsbergen, with the notorious climb at Kapelmuur and Bosberg. After that, they head toward Wallonia, via Enghien and Braine-le-Comte, looping into Charleroi and then past the Lion of Waterloo, Overijse and Tervuren to return to Brussels. In the European capital, the Cinquantenaire Park and the European Quarter can't be missed, with the inner city ring finally taking them to Laken.
In the second stage, on Sunday 7 June, there will be a team time trial, also starting and ending in Brussels. After the start at the Royal Palace in the city centre, there will be a 28-kilometer tour with, amongst other sites, a ride through the Bois de la Cambre. The wide avenues of the capital city will then take them in the direction of the Atomium, where the finish line is located.
The Tour will kick off in Belgium on Monday 8 July. The third stage will start in the carnival town of Binche and from there will head to France, where the arrival in Paris is planned for Sunday 28 July.
The Tour de France is the third most watched sporting event in the world and is broadcast in 190 countries worldwide. Aside from its sporting dimension, it’s also a unique opportunity to promote the city and to ‘put Brussels on the map'. But also, to reveal its architectural, cultural and culinary heritage and to highlight the cosmopolitan aspects of Europe.