The 2017 Tour de France will start with a 13-kilometre time trial in Düsseldorf, offering home favourite Tony Martin an opportunity to take the yellow jersey on the opening day as Germany hosts the Grand Départ for the first time since Berlin in 1987.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, Tour organiser ASO described the 13km course as “pancake-flat” and as being one to “whet the appetite of power riders.”
The stage, which will take place on July 1, 2017, will start across from the Messe fairgrounds in Düsseldorf before barrelling along the banks of the Rhine, taking in Königsalee before doubling back towards a finish near Messe.
The second stage of the 2017 Tour will be a road stage starting from Düsseldorf, though full details will not be revealed until the presentation of the full 2017 Tour route, which will take place in Paris on October 18 of this year.
For now, the only details revealed for stage 2 are that the neutralised zone will take the peloton around the centre of Düsseldorf and that the first king of the mountains points of the 2017 Tour will be on offer after just 6 kilometres, atop the Grafenberg.
In December, ASO announced that its races - including the Tour - would not be part of the UCI WorldTour in 2017. The closing date for applications to be on the 2017 WorldTour calendar is at the end of this week.