'08 Tour to start without prologue

The 2008 Tour de France will kick off with a full stage, marking the first time the Grand Départ will not be a prologue or individual time trial since 1966. The announcement was made Thursday in Rennes by Jean-Yves Le Drian, the chairman of Brittany's Regional Council and Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France. The announcement also revealed the first three stages for the 2008 Tour de France, which will be held in Brittany.

The Grand Départ next year will head from Brest to Plumelec, then stage two will head from Auray to Saint-Brieuc. The Tour will then exit Brittany via Saint-Malo and the roads of Ile-et-Vilaine. This will be the third time that the Tour de France will set off from Brest. The first time was in 1952, and the most recent was in 1974 when Eddy Merckx won the 7.1km prologue.

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