DÜSSELDORF, Germany, November 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, welcomed his colleagues from the participant cities and regions to the "Tour-Summit" in the Düsseldorf Castle Tower. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161117/440666 ) Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel: "As of today, the eyes of the cycling sports world will be focused on Düsseldorf as the host of the Grand Départ 2017. At the same time the cities, municipalities and districts through which the pros' route passes will be in the international limelight. This is an excellent opportunity to advertise the beauty of our region and the bicycle as an attractive means of transport. And of course the Tour de France 2017, which kicks off in Germany once more after 30 years is also a strong signal for German-French friendship." After the 1st stage, which will lead through the Düsseldorf inner city on July 1, 2017 as a time trial, the 2nd stage will also kick off on July 2, 2017 in the state capital. After a tour through the nearby cities of Erkrath, Mettmann and Ratingen the route once again passes through Düsseldorf, a novelty in the history of the Tour de France. Subsequently, the route of the 2nd stage runs via Meerbusch, Neuss, Kaarst-Büttgen and Korschenbroich to Mönchengladbach. The first sprint classification of the Tour 2017 will take place here. The pro cyclists will cycle via the district of Heinsberg and the district of Düren with the town of Jülich and the municipalities of Titz and Aldenhoven through the urban region of Aachen with the towns of Alsdorf and Würselen toward the Cathedral City of Aachen. After a total of 206 kilometers the stage will finish in the Belgian city of Liège.