The Circus was in Town

Le Tour de France was in Brussels and everyone knew! This was the 106th edition of the three-week race and the second time the Grand Depart has been staged in Brussels, which welcomes Le Tour for the 11th time. The Belgian capital was chosen to host the start for the first time since 1958 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time joint-record champion Eddy Merckx’s first title. While the race is one of three Grand Tours, alongside the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, the scale of this race makes it unique.

The Tour Start in numbers

The Tour de France started in Brussels on Saturday, 6 July, and concludes with its traditional finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on 28 July. Even though the distance between Brussels and Paris is only 300km, it will take the peloton 11 times that distance to reach Paris. It will take 21 stages across the 3,480km (2,162 miles) route to reach the French capital.

Around 4,500 people work on the Tour caravan each race, while 10-12 million fans are expected to line the route watching 176 riders from 22 teams, the first stage will attract over 1 million fans. A fun fact is that around 60 % of the fans will be male and 40 % will be female.

The Tour Caravan is around 160 vehicles and is around 11km long and the passage of the whole caravan takes around 30 minutes and will be handing out around more than 900.000 gadgets each day to the fans alongside the roads.

But what does it all cost?

A total of around 11 million euros, it is a collaboration between the city of Brussels, the federal government and the Brussels-Capital Region. It is remarkable in itself that three levels work together. The city provides 7 million, 5 million of which goes to organizer ASO, the rest consists of logistics and promotional costs. The Brussels-Capital Region provides around 2 million, the federal government about the same amount. The costs of deploying police and security people are on top of that