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Tour de France 2010: Stage 1 Preview And Course Map

Following Saturday's prologue (informally known as Stage 0), the 2010 Tour de France resumes Sunday with Stage 1. While the prologue was only 8.9 kilometers (about 5.5 miles), the length of Stage 1 will set the tone for the rest of the Tour. It starts in Rotterdam, South Holland, winds through Belgium, crosses multiple bodies of water, and stretches all the way to Brussels. Here's the course map, as outlined by SB Nation's cycling blog, Podium Cafe:

Tourdefrancestage1map_medium

And here's an excerpt from a preview of Stage 1:

This stage runs between Rotterdam and Brussels and could not be flatter if it tried. The stage will almost certainly end in a sprint, as the sprinters' teams are fresh and ready to chase down any impudent adventurers. Look for an early breakaway to escape in search of television time before the big legs from HTC-Columbia, Garmin-Slipstream, Cervélo TestTeam, Liquigas-Doimo, and Rabobank line up on the front to chase for their sprinters. Cavendish is the obvious favorite, but Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Slipstream has challenged him this season, and all the sprinters will have fresh legs on this opening day.

On Sunday, stay tuned to this StoryStream, where we'll be posting news, updates, and results. And for all you'd every want to know about the Tour de France and cycling in general, head on over to Podium Cafe.