clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Daily Race: Tour de France Prologue

New, 114 comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Tour de France Podium Cafe

Prologue: Rotterdam — Rotterdam

What is it? Short, flat, fast, and painful.
Got Climbs? Not so much.
Yellow Jersey Battle: No one wants to start the Tour with a bad day, but the overall won't be won or lost today.
Ideal Rider: Fabian Cancellara. Big legs, big watts, big fun.
@Gavia: This stage marks the first traditional prologue for the Tour since 2007. Who won in 2007? Why Fabian Cancellara, of course.

View Ted's Course Map
View Stage Profile

The Tour de France begins with a fast, mostly flat prologue through the streets of Rotterdam. What? Rotterdam? Rotterdam isn’t in France. No, it’s not. Rotterdam is definitely in the Netherlands. Truth in advertising just isn’t what it used to be. The first Tour to start outside France began in the Netherlands in 1954.

The Rotterdam prologue runs over 8.9 kilometers. There are two small bumps in the profile. Those aren't hills, they're bridges. The prologue reaches its highest point at 20 meters above sea level. This race is for the specialists then, for the riders who can power the flats and who don’t much bother with going uphill. The course traces out a kite shape and crosses the Neiuwe Maase by way of the scenic Erasmusbrug. After running along the canal, the riders ride over the Willemsbrug to Noordereiland before again crossing the canal to reach the finish. The bridges provide the only elevation gain on the course.

One possible obstacle? Wind. It can be windy in Rotterdam, and the riders will find little shelter as they cross the canals. All the more reason to expect a specialist to win this prologue. Fabian Cancellara and Bradley Wiggins are among the obvious favorites here.

Tour de France Podium CafeLive Race Chat

Join the livethread and discuss todays stage live here. Follow the links below.

Thread 1 Thread 2 Thread 3 Finale

Post-Race Happy Hour

Cancellara Wins Again!
No great shock today. Fabian "Spartacus" Cancellara stomps on everyone else to take the Yellow Jersey. Tony Martin's early start gamble paid off and he looked like a winner for a long time but unlike the German soccer team he had to surrender in the end. Lance Armstrong channeled some rage and was first of all the big GC contenders. Read more...

Other Features

Know Your Tour: Do We Need a Prologue?

Xavier Florencio Withdrawn — Cervélo team site

Who's laughing tonight?

 

Podium Cafe Main
See all Podium Cafe Tour de France stories
Go to official Tour de France site

Photo, Spencer Platt, Getty Images Sport.