The Tour de France starts on Saturday with the prologue, an individual time trial race in Liège, Belgium. While the results of the starting stage probably won't have much effect on the overall competition, winning the time trial is a badge of honor and represents an opportunity to win a major tour stage for time-trial specialists like Fabian Cancellara, the Swiss rider who won the time-trial gold at the 2008 Olympics.
Since the prologue isn't held every year -- last year's race started with a road stage, as will next year's -- these opportunities are few and far between for riders like Cancellara, who has won the last four prologues at the Tour de France. The stage itself is pretty straightforward: 6.4 kilometers through Liège on a flat route, which should take riders about eight minutes.
NBC Sports Network will have coverage of the stage starting at 8 a.m.