Make your hotel reservations now: the 2012 Tour de France will start in Liège in eastern Belgium.
Tour officials posted a short message on its Web site on Friday to confirm that Liège will host the “grand depart” that kicks off cycling’s biggest race each summer. More details will be revealed in a press conference on November 18 in Liège, with the presence of Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault.
This will mark the fourth time that Belgium has hosted the official start of the Tour and the second time for Liège. The city played host in 2004, when Fabian Cancellara won the opening prologue before Lance Armstrong went on to win a sixth Tour crown.
The announcement come just over a week after the complete route of the 2011 Tour was revealed in Paris. Next year’s Tour starts July 2 in the Vendée region of France.