Analysis by Jean-François Pescheux, Tour competition director: “After an initial roll-out in the centre of London, the official stage start will take place right on the Greenwich Meridian at precisely 11.00am. The stage is exactly what you’d expect for a first road stage at the Tour – there are no real difficulties, just three small categorised climbs that the whole field will get over without any worries. But it’s sure to be a nervous stage, as they always are at the start of a Tour, because the battle will be looming between the sprinters who will be targeting the bonus seconds for the first three places and the yellow jersey. The first part of the stage is in a very urban setting, but the riders then head out into the countryside and towards the east coast. The whole race will transfer across to France the same evening.”

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