Tour de France 2017 is finally here, and Tony Martin will be favorite to win Stage 1 on home soil in a 14-kilometre time trial around Düsseldorf, while the first sorting out of general classification riders also takes place. Join The NY Stream for live coverage Tour de France 2017 and updates from 11 pm (AEST).
Stage 3 will finish in Longwy, where the peloton will tackle the Cote des Religieuses, a short but fierce hill that should weed out the sprinters. On paper, the finish is perfectly suited for the Classics riders, while the contenders for the general classification will also be active.
Here’s a look at the full route, courtesy of Cycling news TV:
TV Info: Eurosport, ITV 4 (UK), NBC Sports (U.S.)
The 2017 Tour de France will finally cross into the Grand Est region via Luxembourg on Monday, giving the punches a chance at a stage win.That’s made even more so by the weather forecast. If this is the case, then 90-degree turns are going to be less than appealing.
La Grande Boucle has frequently included a stage like this in the first week of racing for years now, in an attempt to emulate the popularity of the one-day Classics in Belgium and Italy. The handful of short climbs the peloton will face isn’t long enough to do any major damage in the GC, although the contenders can take some time via bonus seconds and if their rivals have a bad day. Tour de France Live Stream
This early in the race, it will be hard for breakaways to gain enough time over a fresh peloton and grab the win. The many contenders for Monday’s stage will only complicate matters, per the Inner Ring:
Michael Matthews, Peter Sagan, and Philippe Gilbert are three riders fans will keep a close eye on, especially now Alejandro Valverde has abandoned the race. The Spaniard would have been the clear favorite for Stage 3 thanks to his unique blend of climbing ability and explosive sprinting, but his 2017 Tour lasted just a few kilometers.
Per Movistar’s official Twitter account, Valverde’s injuries as a result of his crash in Stage 1 were serious: World champion Sagan has taken plenty of wins in races similar to this stage, thanks to his excellent sprinting ability. The Slovak is gunning for his sixth straight green jersey and should be able to distance his main rivals on the final climb.
The top contenders for the yellow jersey will likely test each other’s form on Monday, but don’t expect anyone to take too many risks this early in the Tour. You can’t go past Tony Martin on home soil. The more intriguing battle is for the general classification and who will be able to pull the first punch.