On Saturday, July 6, in Brussels, opened the 106th Cycling race the Tour de France. The opening ceremony was attended by king Philip along with the legendary Belgian cyclist eddy Merckx. Exactly 50 years ago, he for the first time in his career he became the winner of the Tour de France.
All the Merks in the Bank 5 victories in the French Cycling race. He also holds the record for the total duration of the wear yellow leadership t-shirts, which this year celebrates the centenary.
The capital of Belgium has become the starting point of the most famous French race in 1958. The Belgians certainly happy to host this celebration of Cycling again. Generally, in the entire history of the Tour de France began on the Belgian territory five times: in addition to Brussels, the first stage took Charleroi in 1975 and Liege — in 2004 and 2012.
This time in a Big loop debuted 33 racer. But for most participants this French Cycling race — not the first. Experienced and French racers. Here’s how the Director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme commented on their willingness: “Romain bardet, as always, perfectly prepared. Thibaut Pinot is confident in his abilities, with the Tour de France 2014, he was not so sure of himself. Julien alaphilippe the number one in the world. Of course we don’t expect him to win in the General classification, but we all remember him winning two stages and the way he conquered the peaks of the Tour de France in 2018. Finally, this season we see the revival of Warren Borgia and his “magic legs” era of 2017. All this may at certain points to give the French forces in the fight for yellow and “pea” t-shirts. Well, will there be a confrontation Borgia and Alaphilippe, I don’t know. Both drivers are popular with the public. It will be interesting to watch them duel.”
However, a particularly bright flash during the first stage of the French riders have failed. The first to cross the finish line, the Dutchman Micke between theunissen (Jumbo-Visma). The first position he was challenged with the Slovak rider Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), which was ahead by a few inches. Finished third Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).
26-year-old between theunissen will wear the yellow Jersey of the Tour de France for the first time in his career. In 2013 he became world champion in cyclo-cross in the category up to 23 years. In 2015, took part in his first Grand tour, the Spanish Vuelta. This season he is remembered thanks to his seventh position at the finish of the “Paris — Roubaix”, also traveled twice out of twenty — was the 18th on the “Milan —Sanremo” and Dwars Dor Flander.
During the first stage of the Tour de France have been two of the dam. One of them was last year’s winner of the Large loop Geraint Thomas (INEOS), however, this did not prevent him to finish. The team doctors reported that no serious injuries the athlete has not received. In the last kilometers into the dam and got one of the favorites of the stage, the Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).