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2019 Tour de France to start in Brussels

Belgian capital to host Grand Depart on 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx's first overall victory...

The 2019 Tour de France will start in Brussels, organisers ASO have confirmed today, with the Belgian capital hosting the Grand Depart on the 50th anniversary of the year Eddy Merckx took the first of his five overall victories.

It will be the second time the race will have started in the city, the last time being in 1958, with Brussels following on from Düsseldorf this year and the Vendée next year in hosting the opening days of cycling's biggest race.

> Video: Tour de France returns to spectacular Passage du Gois for 2018 Grand Départ

The Tour de France first visited Brussels in 1947 when the second stage finished in the city and it has returned 10 times since then.

Since that Brussels Grand Depart almost half a century ago, the race has started in Belgium three times - in Charleroi in 1975 and Liege in 2004 and 2012.

The 106th edition of the race in 2019 will also mark the centenary of the race leader's yellow jersey.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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handlebarcam | 6 years ago

The 106th edition of the race in 2019 will also mark the centenary of the race leader's yellow jersey.

And, possibly, the first Tour in the modern era that British fans might require visas to go and see in person. Still, at least those of us watching on the TV will be able to kick back and enjoy a banana, or two, as bendy as we want them.

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