Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tour De France Set to Begin

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tour De France Set to Begin

Article excerpt

The Tour de France calls its start the "Grand Depart." This year it feels more like the "Grand Return."

Six years after German TV stopped broadcasting cycling's showpiece event because of a series of doping scandals and three decades after it last rolled off in the country, the Tour opens this weekend with two stages in Duesseldorf, Germany.

The race starts Saturday with a mostly flat 14-kilometer (8.7-mile) individual time trial in Duesseldorf that seems tailor made for four-time world champion Tony Martin to grab the yellow jersey in front of his home fans.

Stage 2 on Sunday goes from Duesseldorf to Liege, Belgium.

The last time the three-week race started from Germany was in 1987, when the Grand Depart took place in West Berlin when the city was still divided.

A decade later, German cycling reached its high point when Jan Ullrich became the first and still only German rider to win the Tour. …

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