Tour de Luxembourg

Tour de Luxembourg guide

Preview of the 72nd edition

Last updated: 3rd June 2012

Many Tour de France hopefuls will be stepping up their preparations at the Tour de Luxembourg, but as one of Europe's traditional stage races the event is more than simply a warm-up for July.

Team Sky line-up:
71. Davide Appollonio
72. Michael Barry
73. Mathew Hayman
74. Alex Dowsett
75. Luke Rowe
76. Salvatore Puccio
77. Chris Sutton
78. Ben Swift

DS: Marcus Ljungqvist
DS/Coach: Kurt-Asle Arvesen
Carer: Klaus Liebold
Carer: Jan Nachergaele
Carer/Bus driver: Peter Raffeiner
Mechanic: Igor Turk
Mechanic: Pascal Nerinckx

5 stages
Total length: 726.5 km
Class: 2.HC
UCI EuropeTour

Past winners:
2011: Linus Gerdemann (GER) - Leopard-Trek
2010: Matteo Carrara (ITA) - Vacansoleil
2009: Frank Schleck (LUX) - Saxo Bank

2011 full results

Official website


Also see

Some of the most famous riders in the history of the sport have added their names to the winners' list since the first edition of the race in 1935.

The race typically rewards strong all-rounders as any contenders for overall victory have to be able to handle the flat terrain of the tiny nation as well as its many small hills.

There will be plenty of chances for the sprinters in the field trying to add a victory to their palmares but, once again, the general classification is set to be decided on the stage into Differdange.

Stages

Wednesday 30 May: Prologue: Luxembourg - 2.7km

The race starts with a short individual time trial in the country's capital city. Even by prologue standards the course is very short, and the fact that the majority of it is on a slightly downhill slope will only serve to increase the average speed. Sprinters and track pursuit specialists may prosper on this short, explosive course.

Thursday 31 May: Stage 1 - Luxembourg to Hesperange - 181km

The first road stage is relatively flat, although some short ramps in the closing kilometres have the potential to shake-up the status quo with the sprinters. The last of the short kicks uphill comes with less than 5km left in the stage and may see an explosive attacker chance their arm. The chasing pack will be keen to reel them in straight away though and set up a bunch sprint at the finish in Hesperange.

Friday 1 June: Stage 2 - Schifflange to Leudelange - 183.9km

Another flat day with some short uphill bumps at the finish should again see a bunch sprint at the finish in Leudelange. The riders will complete three laps of a finishing circuit, which includes two small rises just before the line. However, the stage is still likely to end with a large group contesting the win, although the uphill finish may mean the pure sprinters will be given a tough test.

Key Stage

Saturday 2 June: Stage 3 - Eschweiler (Wiltz) to Differdange - 205.4km

The longest and hardest stage of this year's race sees the riders travel over 200km from Eschweiler to Differdange, situated almost on the border with France. Once again three laps of a circuit will finish things off, but this one should be much more selective than the previous day's stage. The riders will have to tackle the climb of the Col d'Europe three times, a short climb but one with an average gradient of 7.6%. The final passage of the climb ends less than 6km before the finish, meaning any attacks could well stick to the end.

Sunday 3 June: Stage 4 - Mersch to Luxembourg - 153.5km

The final day heads back into the nation's capital and sees another finishing circuit, with the peloton this time having to negotiate seven loops around the city. The lap contains a short uphill rise that is not a major challenge but could whittle the group down due to the cumulative effect. The chances of a bunch sprint are still high, but some last-ditch moves from the general classification contenders could be made on the run-in to the finish, which comes after one of the short uphill sections.

Tactics

Team Sky will come to the race with a strong sprinting line-up and will look to be in the mix during the two or three expected bunch finishes. In addition, Lars Petter Nordhaug will be looking to feature on stage three after going well over hilly terrain so far this season.

Team Sky history

Davide Appollonio enjoyed a successful campaign last year, winning the third stage and also taking the overall honours in the points classification. Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist is a former winner of this race, having taken the overall victory while also winning a stage 10 years ago.

Follow Us

Stage by Stage

Team Sky Shop

TeamSky App

OUR SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS