Stage city for the 11th time
Capital of Belgium and seat of the European Union
Municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region
180,000 inhabitants (Bruxellois), 1 200 000 inhabitants for the Region
In 1947, the first Tour after the war was also the first one with a stage finish in Belgium, with René Vietto raising his arms in Brussels. Since that solo 130 km breakaway, victory in the capital has often gone to sprinters such as Walter Planckaert (1978), Freddy Maertens (1981) and Alessandro Petacchi (2010). Brussels was also the scene of a stellar time trial by Bernard Hinault in 1979, as the Frenchman fought to claw back time from main rival Joop Zoetemelk. The eleventh visit of the Grande Boucle, scheduled for in 2019, places Brussels alongside Liège as the foreign city that has featured in the Tour most often.