July 02, 2016

SAINTE-MARIE-DU-MONT, France (AP) Defending champion Chris Froome has begun his quest for a third Tour de France title.

The 103rd edition of the French classic started on Saturday with the full peloton taking on the picture-perfect 188-kilometer (117-mile) opening stage from Mont-Saint-Michel to Utah Beach in the Normandy region.

Mont-Saint-Michel is a World Heritage Benedictine abbey perched on a rock off the coast.

Utah Beach was one of the landing sites for Allied troops on D-Day in 1944.

Froome, the Kenyan-born British rider with Sky, won the Tour in 2013 and 2015.

The first stage sets up well for sprinters but strong winds off the English Channel could play a factor.

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