- Düsseldorf, much more than just a stage of the Tour
Programme and stages
Programme for the Grand Départ
The athletic part of the Grand Depart (June 29 - July 2) will kick off with the introduction of the teams on Thursday, June 29. On Friday, the Festival of Lights at Benrath Castle will offer the audience open-air classical music, a romantically lighted castle and breathtaking fireworks. The official reception of the Grand Depart Düsseldorf 2017 will be held at the same time. The first stage of the race will take place on Saturday as individual cycling times. The start of second stage will take place in Düsseldorf on Sunday at the closing of the Grand Depart. Around one million spectators are expected.
The hosting of the Grand Départ also includes the following events:
- 1st Düsseldorf Cycling Festival with the traditional "Rund um die Kö" race and the public "Race am Rhein"
- Bicycle Film Festival
- "Bonjour le Tour" - Start of the action programme
- Cycling Race for Children "Petit Départ"
- Night of the Museums
- Bicycle fair "Cyclingworld Düsseldorf"
- "Tour d' Aéroport DUS" at Düsseldorf Airport
- Photo Exhibition "Myth Tour de France"
Special exhibition at the NRW Forum
- Photo Exhibition "Die Welt hat Pedale" (The World has Pedals)
Exhibition at Düsseldorf City Hall
- Exhibition "Fahrradgerechte Stadt" (Bicycle-Friendly City)
Exhibition at the Stadtmuseum der Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
- "Radaktiv" celebrates the Fête du Vélo
- "Fahrrad an Bord" (Bicycle on Board)
Exhibition at Düsseldorf City Hall
- Festival of Lights at Benrath Palace
- Sports Economy Convention
1st Stage, Saturday, July 1st
On Saturday, July 1, 2017 the Tour de France 2017 starts with an individual time trial covering 13 kilometers through the Düsseldorf urban area. The cyclists start at the Düsseldorf Trade Fair and ride along the banks of the Rhine river. They touch on the Cultural Center Ehrenhof in the process and sprint over the Oberkassel Bridge into Oberkassel on the left bank of the Rhine.
With a view toward the Rhine Tower and the NRW state parliament the cyclists will go back over the Rheinknie Bridge, past the Medienhafen toward the inner city. On the famous shopping promenade Königsallee the cyclists will continue to vie for the best time. At the end of the "Kö" shopping promenade the route passes the Triton fountain and switches to the Heinrich-Heine-Allee, then heads toward the Rhine embankment passing the Deutsche Oper.
The subsequent home stretch of 3.3 kilometers along the Rhine leads back to the Trade Fair - an ideal stretch where the time-trial competitors can vie for the first yellow jersey. The length of the time trial also gives spectators an early preview of the riders' form for the overall classification.
2nd Stage, Sunday, July 2nd
Starting point of the 2nd stage of the Tour de France 2017 is the Tonhalle embankment on which the Village has been erected for the guests of honor and partners of the Tour de France. On July 2, 2017 the teams will be cycling via the Joseph Beuys embankment toward the Burgplatz where they will officially register and present themselves to the spectators. The neutralization kick-off, a slow cycling-in of the competitors, will take place here. The eight-kilometers long neutralization extends through the old quarters of the city toward MedienHafen and is a unique opportunity for the spectators to experience the cyclists up-close.
At the Living Bridge spanning the dock the team of cyclists will stop for an official ceremony before continuing on through the Düsseldorf inner city and getting on their marks for the official kick-off in Fischerstraße. The cycling team will pick up the route from here.
After the first flat kilometers through the state capital the route continues upward toward the Galopp race tracks- at the Grafenberger Wald the pros will compete for the first points for the polka dot jersey 2017. From Grafenberg the track leads through Gerresheim and the city of Erkrath. Finally, the 2nd stage of the Tour de France 2017 meanders through the Neandertal upward toward Mettmann, before the cyclists traverse Ratingen and get back to Düsseldorf from there. This is a novelty in the Tour de France, as it is the first time that a stage leads out of the starting line city and leads back to it again.
The Rhine river is then crossed via the Theodor Heuss Bridge into the urban district of Oberkassel. At route kilometer 52 the cyclists leave the Düsseldorf urban area again and arrive at Neuss through the Rhine district of Neuss, via Meerbusch. The team traverses the Neuss inner city, arriving at the bastion of cycling in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Kaarst-Büttgen.
On the following route from Korschenbroich toward Mönchengladbach via the L 381 the teams prepare for the first sprint classification of the Tour de France 2017, which will be made at kilometer 83 in the Mönchengladbach city center.
Through the district of Heinsberg, past the strip mine Garzweiler 1 the cyclists arrive in the district of Düren at the historical town of Jülich, which from 1794 until 1814 was part of French territory in the Département de la Roer,as well as the municipalities of Titz and Aldenhoven.
After the urban region of Aachen with the cities of Alsdorf and Würselen, the Cathedral City of Aachen is the last German city through which the cyclists of the Tour de France 2017 pass through. Via the B264 the cycling pros will then cross the German-Belgian border. They will compete on Belgian soil in the last 51 kilometers of the stage toward the destination of the 2nd stage: Liège.