Tour de France

Report: 2019 Tour de France to start in Brussels

Belgian media outlets have confirmed that the French grand tour will pay homage to Eddy Merckx by starting in his home country.

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Belgian media outlets are confirming earlier reports that the 2019 Tour de France will start in Brussels.

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Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad reported Thursday that local officials have penned the papers with promoter ASO for the Tour’s grand départ. The official confirmation in a press conference is expected next month.

Details remain sketchy, but the opening stage on July 6, 2019 could dip into Flanders with a possible passage over the Kapelmuur. The next day could feature a team time trial, the newspaper reported.

The route is set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first of five Tour wins. The Belgian legend, however, might not be associated with the event after ASO and Merckx had a falling out over business deals linked to the Tours of Qatar and Oman.

The 2018 Tour de France will start in France’s Vendée department on July 7 and will end in Paris on July 29.