2006 Tour de France to Benelux

According to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure, the first week of next year's Tour de France will be carried out in Luxembourg, in the Southern Netherlands and in the Belgian Ardennes. Starting from the French town of Strasbourg on July 1 with a traditional opening time trial - so much is official - the first stage of the 2006 Tour will start and end in that very same city close to the German border.

The second stage on July 3 will reportedly also start in Strasbourg, and end in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg or in the French town of Thionville close to the border with Luxembourg. German media have also speculated about a return to their country on that day.

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