The 2015 Tour de France starts in Utrecht with a 13.7 kilometre time trial on the 4th of July 2015. It's going to be first time the Tour starts with a time trial again after the 2013 and 2014 editions [in Corsica and Yorkshire] take off with a road stage. The 13.7 kilometre long course starts and finishes at the Jaarbeurs conference center next to Utrecht Central station.
The first stage is not a prologue because that is maximized at 8 kilometers, the organization stressed from the launch in Paris on Thursday. The last time the Tour de France started with a non-prologue time trial was in Monaco in 2009. The 15.5 kilometer long race was won by Fabian Cancellara.
Lars Boom looks forward to the first stage of the Tour in his own country. "I think every Dutch rider would like to start this race," the Belkin rider told press agency ANP. Boom who is a time trial specialist sees possibilities. "A longer time trial is nice for the crowds alongside the route. You get to keep the Tour in your city longer than if you would have it as a start of a normal stage only. Personally I have no problems with this distance even though a prologue would have been good too. I will train specifically for this event," he added.
The second stage starts on the fifth of July and will pass the iconic Dom church tower. When Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme heard the French national anthem Marseillaise played by the church bells, he was sold. "Utrecht can be praised for its perseverance," he said at the launch in Paris referring to the fact the Dutch city had been trying to get the Grand Départ from 2002. "When they played La Marseillaise three times from the Dom tower I was sold," the Frenchman smiled.
It is unknown where the second stage of the 2015 Tour de France will finish. That will be revealed at the full route presentation in October 2014. However, the Tour de France organization ASO did reserve 1,000 hotel rooms in the province of Zeeland. With the World Ports Classics [which is based on the 2010 Grand Départ in Rotterdam] being a success for the ASO, the second stage might well become a day defined by the Zeeland echelons.
The second stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia finished in Utrecht. Tyler Farrar sprinted to victory beating Matthew Goss and Fabio Sabatini.