Date: Saturday, June 30
Type: Flat, individual time trial
A classic prologue time trial, which is no longer guaranteed under the stewardship of Christian Prudhomme. The current Tour director likes variety, so last year’s race began with a road stage and uphill finish. But it doesn’t get much more traditional than this year’s opener: a flat, 6.4km time trial in the centre of Liège, much of it along the banks of the Meuse.
For spectators, these stretches offer good vantage points, with two dead turns. Otherwise, the course is not overly technical, will suit powerful time trial specialists and shouldn’t be dangerous. Unless, like Rotterdam two years ago, it rains…
Tour de France 2012: Coverage index