The Essentials

■ The Tour has previously been to Rotterdam once — in 1973, when Willy Teirlinck won there.

■ This is the third longest Prologue ever. 1969 (Roubaix) was 10.4km, and 1996 ('s-Hertogenbosch) was 9.4km.

■ Average prologue distance since the first in 1967:6.8km.

■ Since 1967, 38 opening days have been a short individual time trial. The exceptions: 1971

(1 lkm team time Stam trial), 1988 (5km vegel team time trial, plus bu one individual flying kilometre), 2000 and 2009 (16.5km and 15km time trials) and 2008 (197km road stage).

■ Most prologue wins: Bernard Hinault (five).

■ Number of times the prologue winner has gone on to win the Tour: 10, by Merckx (3), Hinault (3), Indurain (2) and Armstrong (2).

■ Fastest prologue: Chris Boardman, Lille 1994 (55.152kph).

500 metres

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