The second stage of the 2015 Tour de France will run from Utrecht to the Neeltje Jans in Zeeland, Netherlands, giving that province its first ever Tour stage finish. The latter part of the stage will down the North Sea coast, with its strong winds.
The Neeltje Jans is an artificial island which was made to help with the construction of the Oosterschelde dam, a storm surge barrier on the Dutch coast designed to protect the country from North Sea flooding.
The North Sea coast is totally flat, but provides its own difficulties. As the Zeeland provincial government said in a statement on telegraaf.nl, “Here, the Tour de France will see no Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux, but possibly 'the Dutch mountain': the infamous Zeeland wind. The Tour de France, you will not win it in Zealand, but you can lose it here.”
The Tour 2015 will open with an individual time trial in Utrecht on July 4. The next stage will go through Rotterdam to the coast. Stage 3 will start in Antwerp, Belgium, which the Tour last visited in 2001. The start in Rotterdam was announced last November. Further details will be released at the official announcement in October.
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