The 100th edition of the Tour de France will begin in the one region of France never traversed by Tour bicycles: Corsica. The stage takes the place of the Tour's usual prologue time trial. The good news for the sprinters who usually enter the Tour's official "Stage 1" in the yellow jersey is that the Corsica route features plenty of flat land to cruise.
Don't expect the 213-kilometer race to be dull, however. For starters, the views off the coast of the island floating in the Mediterranean southeast of France and west of Italy should be breathtaking. According to SB Nation's cycling blog Podium Cafe, the racing may be harrowing as well.
Once the pomp and circumstance is over with, this should be a typical opening stage: peloton in full cry, sprint teams all-in, and of course crashes. Keep your fingers crossed on the latter. Maybe those curvy coastal roads won't be as tricky as they appear.
With just one climb -- a category four -- along the route, whoever takes the yellow jersey first will likely be a sprinter. Viewers will want to keep a close eye on points classification favorites such as Peter Sagan of Team Cannondale, Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Andre Greipel of Lotto-Belisol.