The 2019 Tour de France Grand Depart will take place in Brussels to mark the 50th anniversary of five-time champion Eddy Merckx’s first title.
Belgian rider Merckx, 71, won six stages on his way to the 1969 title and holds the record for the most Tour de France stages wins, with 34.
Brussels has hosted the Grand Depart once before, in 1958, while 2019 will be the fifth Tour start in Belgium.
“I’m very emotional, I hope I’ll still be alive,” said Merckx.
Nicknamed ‘The Cannibal’, Merckx also won three world road race championships, four Giro d’Italia titles, the 1973 Vuelta a Espana and claimed 19 victories across cycling’s five prestigious one-day ‘Monument’ races.