Tour de France 2015 Stage 2 preview: Utrecht - Zélande, 166 km

In 2010, the Dutch fans did themselves proud at the Grand Départ in Rotterdam by turning out in their tens of thousands to watch the Tour, creating a version of Alpe d’Huez’s famous Dutch Corner, only this time back at home. Yorkshire’s fans outdid them last year, with even bigger crowds. Can the Dutch fans restore national pride and give us another Grand Départ to remember?

The first road stage of the Tour is a flat run from Utrecht to the North Sea coast in the province of Zeeland and finishing almost literally out in the sea. The finish line is on Neeltje Jans, a couple of square kilometres of reclaimed land halfway along the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier. Originally the island was a construction works for the dam, but now has a water park as well as the N57 road which runs along the coast between Rotterdam and Middelburg.

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