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Date: Sunday, July 2
Start: Düsseldorf, Germany
Finish: Liège, Belgium
Distance: 203.5km (126.4mi)
Weather forecast: High of 18C (64F); winds up to 30km/h (18mph)
The sprinters should get their first opportunity of the 2017 Tour de France with a quick stage expected to finish in a large bunch kick in Liège. Look to the likes of André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Marcel Kittel (Quickstep Floors) to get their Tour running, and 30-stage winner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) can never be discounted even after recently recovering from illness. Expect a fight for the early breakaway as the first King of the Mountains points for the Tour come only six kilometres into the race. The Maillot Jaune should be safe but bonus seconds on the line could make it interesting.
Christian Prudhomme, race director: “Most of the stage will take place in Germany. During the last visits to Liège during the 21st century, the riders battled it out on time-trials while those who normally shine on Liège-Bastogne- Liège are among the best punchers of the moment. This time, a sprint victory is to be expected on the boulevard de la Sauvenière.”
Baden Cooke, 2003 Green Jersey winner: “Stage 2 from Dusseldorf to Liege will almost certainly be a day for the sprinters. With the yellow jersey having already been decided on the stage one 14km time trial, the early control of the stage while in Germany will probably rest on the shoulders of the race leader’s team.”
Cyril Lemoine, Cofidis: “It will be nervous, there will be danger, you will have to pay attention to many elements. The first sprint opportunity is always like that. Vigilance is required.”