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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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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