Stage 1 - Saturday, July 2: Fromentine - Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile ITT, 19 km

Possibly the most anticipated start to a Tour in the past decade, the Grand Depart in Fromentine, on the west coast of the country, is a time trial and not the traditional shorter prologue. All eyes will be on Lance Armstrong to see if the dominance he has shown in recent Tour time trials will continue and kickstart his campaign for a seventh Tour victory. He'll be challenged on the flat, 19 kilometre parcours by in-orm riders such as Michael Rogers, who is looking good after a successful Tour de Suisse, and Santiago Botero, whose class shined through at the Tour of Romandy. Fabian Cancellara, last year's surprise prologue winner, may have another surprise in store, and look to Brad McGee to throw up a threat; he's a perennial challenger for prologue honours - the extra distance shouldn't bother him too much, but his GC ambitions may control his push for opening day honours a little.

Images ©:AFP

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