From 30 June to 2 July 2012 - Web ? www.letour.fr
Belgium and the Belgians have long been fans of this famous race. And the race sure does return the affection! Once more, the Tour will stop in Belgium and, for a second time, will launch from Liège!
Next June 27, 28 and 29, the Pre Tour will set the stage as a meeting ground between actors of the Tour and their public. Tourists, amateur racers, journalists ou curious wanderers will meet in Liège to savour the race atmosphere.
Access to the Pre Tour will be free to all spectators and is the crossroads where all actors of the Tour will mix while awaiting the first moves of the pack. While members of the caravan will polish their vehicles fresh out of the workshops, the racers will appear for a signature session, radio stations and tv channels will build their stages in the heart of the action : 80 exhibitors will occupy the Halles des Foires de Liège. The celebration will definitely kick off on Thursday June 28 with the presentation of the teams.
Saturday June 30 :: Prologue
As is often the case, the Tour starts with a prologue. At the end of a 6 kilometers run, the first to endorse the yellow jersey will be known. Let's be clear, a prologue is the ideal occasion to see the racers go by one at a time. Let's be even clearer, Liège will be crowded for this event! Be prepared, reach the Cité Ardente by train or arrive early enough to avoid being placed at the third or fourth row of spectators. It will be well worth it...
Sunday July 1st :: Liège-Seraing
Sunday, day of the Lord, the bicycle will become the religion for the whole Province of Liège. Since the arrival of this first stage will take place after a 2,5 km climb, one can expect to see the punchers precede the pure sprinters. At a time when the racers will still possess their full strength, the show promises to be spectacular! At BrusselsLife, we will rather observe the pack somewhere along the race before the final rush. The Belgian motorway network gives us plenty of choice. Thanks to the E25 and E42 highways you will be able to chose between a variety of vantage points be it a hill or a feeding zone. Check it out:
Monday July 2 :: Visé-Tournai
The second stage on Belgian grounds will launch Monday July 2nd from the city of Visé to reach the city of the five bell towers, Tournai. The arrival will be judged at the end of a long straight. It is during this stage that the pack will get the closest to Brussels. Indeed, during its crossing of Nivelles in the early afternoon, the Tour will be less than thirty kilometers away from the capital. Why don't you sacrifice half a day off to take your kids who will just have started their summer holidays ?
The Great Tour Circus
The Tour wouldn't be what it is without the entertainment which has transformed this sporting event into a popular festivity. No need to introduce the publicity caravan anymore which precedes the pack for a good one hour and a half and during which 45 minutes of continuous show are proposed: 16 million gifts distributed, 160 animated vehicles.
And until July 22 2012, the racers and the caravan of the Tour de France will travel 3.497 kilometers on the roads of Belgium and France before the final assault on Paris. Frédéric Solvel