So we are in Liege in Belgium for what the start of the 99th Edition of the Tour de France. No Centenaries this year but some new places to visit and new mountains to climb. Though over 90km of time trialling and no severe mountain top finishes. Just the sort of route that may suit a certain Brit.
But first up there is a 6.4km prologue around Liege.
There is an old adage that the Tour cannot be be won on the prologue. While that may be true with only a few seconds separating the top riders when we get to end of 3000+ km Tours in recent years there have only been a few seconds separating the first and second finishers.
In 1989 the defending champion Pedro Delgado missed his start time by 2 mins 40 secs and his tour was more or less over before it started. In 1995 and in form Chris Boardman crashed out on the prologue, I hope he doesn't have to relive that in his commentary this afternoon for some other unfortunate. So it can be lost just in interesting ways.