Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara is wearing the Tour de France leader's yellow jersey as the pack starts the first stage.
The 123-mile loop from Liege to suburban Seraing - with a slight uphill finish - is expected to favor riders known as punchers, those who can break out toward the end and hold on.
Overall title favorites including defending champion Cadel Evans and Bradley Wiggins, who hopes to become Britain's first Tour winner, are expected to leave the hard racing Sunday to the specialists like Liege native Philippe Gilbert of the BMC team.
Wiggins began the day in second place, seven seconds behind Cancellara, and Evans was 13th, seven seconds behind.
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