Tour de France 2015: Race to get under way with time trial in Utrecht

Last Updated: 01/12/13 2:18pm

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Utrecht is the sixth Dutch city to host the opening stage of the Tour de France

Utrecht is the sixth Dutch city to host the opening stage of the Tour de France

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The 2015 Tour de France will begin with a 13.7km time trial in Utrecht.

The Dutch city will also host the start of stage two, although race organisers gave no further details.

"After two editions which will have begun with a race to the line [this year in Corsica and 2014 in Yorkshire, England] we are returning to the traditional time trial," said Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, before explaining why it wasn't classed a prologue.

"International Cycling Union [UCI] rules stipulate that the maximum distance for a prologue is 8km."

A rider cannot be eliminated after a prologue, no matter how far behind the winner he finishes, but for a normal time-trial, there is the standard time-based cut-off point.

Utrecht is the sixth Dutch city to stage the Grand Depart of cycling's marquee race. Amsterdam was the first in 1954, followed by Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978), 's-Hertogenbosch (1996) and Rotterdam (2010).

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