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Tour de France starts in Belgium today with "yellow" Wout Van Aert as extra attraction in Binche

The Tour de France comes to Belgium today. The official start will be given in Binche (Hainaut province) at 15 minutes past noon. 

Binche, the carnival city that is the home of its renowned "Gilles", is hosting the Tour de France for the second time in 3 years. The 220 km stage will take the riders soon across the border with France, for a ride through the French Ardennes with a finish in Longwy. 

This morning, many cycling fans seized the opportunity to visit the Tour. They have an extra attraction today, with Belgium's Wout Van Aert still in the Yellow Jersey as overall race leader. Van Aert managed to save the Yellow on the cobbles on northern France yesterday. "I didn't expect this during the race (when he was behind after a crash) but I will enjoy the stop in Belgium, of course," Van Aert told reporters. 

Wout Van Aert also possesses the Green Points Jersey as the best sprinter after second places in the first three stages. The Green Jersey was/is his main goal in this Tour de France. Antwerp resident Van Aert hopes to take the Green home after the final stage in Paris. 

The mayor of Binche Laurent Devin said that he hopes that the Flemish successes in the Tour (with stage wins for Yves Lampaert in the opening time trial and a stage win, the Yellow and Green for Van Aert later on) will also inspire Walloon youngsters to pick up cycling.  

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