This is the unmissable cycling event of the beginning of the summer! From 31 May until 4 June, the 2017 edition of the Skoda Tour de Luxembourg takes place. About a hundred national and international cyclists from the great international and continental stables will cover more than 720 kilometres throughout the Grand Duchy in order to win the coveted golden jersey of the best cyclist.
Among the participating teams, two hail from Luxembourg: Leopard Pro Cycling (UCI Continental Team) and the Differdange-Losch Team (UCI Continental Team). On the international level, the Tour welcomes the BMC Racing Team, an internationally renowned team (UCI World Team).
Launched in 1935, the Tour de Luxembourg has been known as 'Skoda Tour de Luxembourg' since 2005. In 2016, Luxembourger Jean-Pierre (called 'Jempy') Drucker won the general ranking, which he is set out to defend this year as well.
- the gold jersey for the leader in the general ranking,
- the blue jersey for the ranking by points,
- the wine-coloured jersey for the best climber,
- the yellow jersey for the best youngster.
The race comprises a prologue, followed by four stages:
- Wednesday 31 May: Prologue in Luxembourg City (2.14 km)
- Thursday, 1 June: 1st stage - Luxembourg-Bascharage (172.0 km)
- Friday, 2 June: 2nd stage Steinfort-Walferdange (178.4 km)
- Saturday, 3 June: 3rd stage - Eschweiler (Wiltz)-Diekirch (192.9 km)
- Sunday, 4 June: 4th stage Mersch-Luxembourg (174.6 km)
The starting stage in Luxembourg City may seem short, however the circuit will be difficult: Indeed, between the city centre and the Grund district, there is an altitude difference of some 50 metres, which the cyclists have to master on narrow cobbled streets.
The first stage leads from Luxembourg City to Bascharage in the south-west, passing through the Moselle region and the southern Redlands. The second stage links Steinfort, on the Belgian border, to Walferdange, north of the capital, via the Luxembourg Ardennes region and its spectacular landscapes. On its third stage, the Tour de Luxembourg stays in the Luxembourg Ardennes, passing from Eschweiler (near Wiltz) to Diekirch. Finally, the 4th stage leads from Mersch in the centre of the country to Luxembourg City, via the Niklosbierg near Vianden, where a climb over 300 metres of altitude awaits the cyclists. This is the perfect occasion for cycling race enthusiasts to see their champions up close!
Bob Jungels as guest of honour
Following the prologue on Wednesday, the organisers have a special treat in store: Bob Jungels will drop in. He has just finished 8th in the Giro d'Italia wearing the white jersey of the best young rider for the second year in a row. Moreover, he was able to wear the pink jersey for 5 days, no small feat. Overall a memorable victory, which will without doubt be carved into the Luxembourgers' collective memory, and not just those who have an affinity for cycling races. Before him, Andy Schleck had been able to win the white jersey at the Giro d'Italia – that was in 2007.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)