Tour de France 2019 : Brusells introduces the Grand Depart
The 106th Tour de France will begin with two stages around the Belgian and European capital, including a team time trial.
The Grand Départ will be the opportunity to celebrate two landmarks as the Maillot Jaune will become a centenarian in 2019, 50 years after Eddy Merckx claimed his maiden Tour victory.
Brussels can't wait for its Grand Départ. The Tour de France 2019 will kick-off from the Belgian capital on July 6th. The Brussels-Capital region will welcome two stages, according to the route introduced Tuesday at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Brussels. This will be the fifth Grand Départ from Belgium, the second set at Brussels 61 years after the first one.
The first stage will visit some of the hotbeds of Belgian cycling history and places that fully illustrate the deep relationship between the country and the Tour de France. The riders will cross Flanders and Wallonia, with the Mur de Grammont as one of the main highlights of the route. On their way back to Brussels, they will pass through the city of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, where Eddy Merckx wore the Maillot Jaune for the first time ever, on route to the first of his five overall success, back in 1969.
Sprinters will have a serious shot at glory, nine years after Alessandro Petacchi claimed victory on the last Tour visit at Brussels. The next day, a team time trial will highlight the most iconic monuments of the city. Between the Royal Palace and the Atomium, this will already be a key moment for the champions who want to earn their place alongside Eddy Merckx as legends of the Tour.