Good news for all those who plan to see the early stages of the next Tour de France in the Netherlands and Belgium: the exact locations of the stage one finish and start of stage two are reportedly determined.
Tour de France organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has not yet confirmed the exact route of the 97th Tour, but after multiple visits of technical director Jean-François Pescheux in Belgium, the settings of the finish of stage one coming from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as well as next day's stage departure towards Spa, Belgium, seem to be agreed upon.
Stage one July 4 is reported by Belgian La Dernière Heure to end on the Avenue Houba de Strooper in the Northern outskirts of Brussels, right in front of the Stadium King Baudouin, the same location as the finish of one day race Paris-Brussels. This locations is very close to the famous Atomium, a monument built in 1958 for the World's Fair.
On the next day, July 5, the Tour's caravan will get underway to Spa in the Ardennes region in the city's Esplanade du Cinquantenaire park, located South of the city centre. The majestic garden will provide a stunning scenery for the start of stage three.
The precise routes of these stages are yet to be determined. "We have made several reconnaissances to determine the best itineraries," said Eddy Merckx, who will be honoured by ASO next year as one of the stages will pass through the five-time Tour champion's home town of Meise, located North of the capital.
The final routes of next year's Tour will decided and confirmed throughout the first months of 2010. ASO usually releases full details of the event's stages by April, or in June at the latest.
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