Two opening "newsflashes" from a couple of websites I frequent during the Tour, particularly because I don't have cable TV and I have to "watch" the Tour on the Web.
15:12 - Welcome To The Live Coverage Of The 92nd Tour de France!
The 2005 Tour de France is scheduled to begin at 3.40pm with a 19km time trial from Fromentine to Noirmoutier en L’Ile.
Riders will depart at one-minute intervals.
The final rider to begin the first stage will be the defending champion, Lance Armstrong. The American Discovery Channel rider’s start time is 6.48pm.
Against the Clock and Down by the Sea
Good morning and welcome to Bicycling.com's minute-by-minute coverage of the 2005 Tour de France. Today's opening 19km stage from Fromentine to Noirmoutier-en-Ile is against the clock, but it is not short enough to be considered a bona fide "prologue". Suitably, it is French rider Ludovic Turpin who has the honor of opening the festivities. The little climber from AG2R rolls off the start ramp in the seaside town of Fromentine at 3:40. Skies are overcast the temperature is 78F and the wind is off the ocean, out of the south west at 6mph; it is expected to pick up as the day go on which could favor the earlier riders in today's test.