2011 Tour de France Route Announced in Paris
The 2011 Tour de France route will perfectly suit climbers such as Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador although it remains unclear whether the three-time champion will be allowed to take part.
Team Sky captain Bradley Wiggins told Roadcycling.com "That stage is definitely the main source of excitement for us given our track background and experience we've built up in those types of events this season."
"It's going to be a really important day for us in terms of our team selection and preparation," Wiggins added and concluded "There's obviously more chance of losing time on that opening stage than there would be in a prologue, but if all goes well there then stage two represents a great chance for us to win the stage and get someone in the yellow jersey."
Commenting on the 2011 Tour de France route Tour de France veteran and Team BMC Racing rider George Hincapie told Roadcycling.com "All those flat stages to start things off are going to make make it more stressful than normal. It's always stressful at the start, and with so many guys with chances, that's going to be a hard way to start the race. I was surprised the team time trial is so short but I think it will be so high speed, the distance won't be such a factor."
Today's 2011 Tour de France route introduction ceremony began with a video tribute to former Tour champion Laurent Fignon, who died of cancer earlier this year, with the 4,000 spectators applauding after being shown highlights of the Frenchman's career.