As has already been clear since last December, the Tour starts on the July 1st, 2017 with the Grand Départ in Duesseldorf. The most important cycling race in the world will begin with an individual time trial over 13 kilometers through the Duesseldorf city center on July 1st, 2017.
Duesseldorf also will see the start of the second stage. After a circuit through the nearby towns of Erkrath, Mettmann and Ratingen, the route passes through Duesseldorf again, a novelty in the history of the Tour de France. For the first time, the “Great Loop” leads the cyclists out of the city where the race begins and back again. Following that, the route of the second stage leads through Meerbusch, Neuss and Kaarst-Buettgen to Moenchengladbach. Here, the first intermediate sprint points of the 2017 Tour will be awarded. Cycling through the Dueren district with its city of Juelich, the pro cyclists will then ride into the Cathedral City of Aachen. This is the last German city in this stage which ends 206 kilometers further on in the Belgian city of Liège.
In his presentation of the state capital Duesseldorf as host to the Grand Départ 2017, Mayor Thomas Geisel told the approximately 4,000 journalists present: “30 years after the start of the tour in the still divided Berlin in 1987, the largest cycling race in the world will start again in Germany. The Tour de France organizers could have found no better place for this than Duesseldorf – a sport-loving city, a cycling city, and a hospitable city. Our trade fair ‘Messe Duesseldorf’ welcomes millions of visitors every year. And millions of visitors arrive annually to visit the large traditional events in Duesseldorf, such as the carnival parade on Rose Monday, the Japan Day or the France Festival. More than 3,000 of your fellow French citizens as well as 257 French companies contribute to the unmistakable lifestyle and savoir-vivre in Duesseldorf, which has given the city its nickname ‘Little Paris.’ Enjoy the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2017! Enjoy Duesseldorf!”
Following his speech, the Mayor presented the image film, shot by Duesseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH especially for the route presentation, which also can be viewed at http://www.duesseldorf.de/letour.