COURSE: This completely flat course is more technical than lastyear’s prologue in Paris, featuring two virtual dead-stop turns, a trickysection over cobblestones, and a long curving section that is ridden inboth directions. The whole course is on city streets, except for a shortsection on a highway that runs parallel to the Meuse River.
FAVORITES: Expect last year’s prologue winner Brad McGee to befavored, especially with the absence of David Millar, while homeboy RikVerbrugghe will also be vying for the honors. Of the GC contenders, LanceArmstrong will want to make a statement with his F-One technology.
HISTORY: This is only the third time that the Tour has startedin Belgium; the others were in Brussels (1958) and Charleroi (1976). Ofthe seven times a Tour stage has finished in Liège, the most recentwas in 1995, when current U.S. Postal directeur sportif Johan Bruyneelcame around breakaway companion Miguel Induráin to win.
Starts: 1 (1989)
Finishes: 7 (1948-50-53-56-65-80-95)