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Tour de France begins with Stage 1 time trial underway

German cyclist John Degenkolb from the Team Trek-Segafredo arrives at the finish line in Duesseldorf, Germany, Saturday, July 1, 2017 on the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race. (Daniel Karmann/dpa via AP)

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — The 104th edition of the Tour de France is underway in rainy and slippery conditions.

Making his Tour debut on his 22nd birthday, French rider Elie Gesbert is the first competitor on course in Stage 1, an almost entirely flat 14-kilometer (8.7 mile) individual time trial up and down the banks of the Rhine River in downtown Duesseldorf. Gesbert is also the youngest rider in the field.

The 198th and last rider slated to start is three-time champion Chris Froome at just after 6:30 p.m. local time (1630 GMT).

The stage winner will wear the first leader’s yellow jersey of the race.

It’s the fourth time the Tour has started in Germany and the first since 1987, when riders set out in West Berlin.

The three-week Tour concludes in Paris on July 23.

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