SUNDAY, JULY 2ND– STAGE 2 – 203.5km
Mountain Passes and Hills:
Km 6.5 – Côte de Grafenberg: 1.4 kilometre-long climb at 4.5% – category 4
Km 183.0 – Côte d’Olne: 1.3 kilometre-long climb at 4.7% – category 4
Km 82.5 – MÖNCHENGLADBACH
Düsseldorf / Liège 203.5KM
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.
Moenchengladbach is a fine mix between an urban atmosphere and a rural charm. It is also a town of art and culture with several major monuments, a museum of international repute and a very lively cultural life in the fields of theatre and cabaret. The old market is the heart of the historical city with the Kapuzinerplatz and the cathedral. The area is now decorated by sculptures like a giant thermometer, or a “square round fountain”. Rhine people are know for their “joie de vivre” and the carnival is a great example of this. The Veilchendienstag is a great attraction which is part of local culture. The cultural highlight of the city is undoubtedly the Abtelberg Museum, one of the major fine arts museums in Germany. Built in 1982 on plans by post-modernist icon Hans Hollein, it shows works by such modern artists as Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger, Markus Oehlen, Heinz Mack, Ulrich Rückriem and Gregor Schneider.
The St Vitus cathedral is also home to much older masterpieces. Among them is the cloth said to have been laid on the table of the Last Supper. Moenchengladbach is also remarkable for its two main castles, the lovely Renaissance castle of Rheydt and the river-bound Wickrath castle, on the banks of the Niers. The town is also famous for its football club, fives times German champions and winners of two UEFA Cups.
Chaudfontaine: Pop: 21,000: Victor Hugo dubbed this spa town close to Liege the “violet of thermal resorts”.
Chaudfontaine was the starting point of the Grand Prix de Walonie from 2003 to 2014.