Defending champion Chris Froome, last year’s runner up Nairo Quintana and two-time former winner Alberto Contador are among the favourites to win the race.
However, none among them is the favourite to win the opening stage which is a largely flat affair tailor-made for specialist sprinters.
One of the big favourites is German Marcel Kittel who won the first stage in 2013 and 2014.
“The last kilometres will be nervous and fast: downhill, straight forward and with no corners. You need a good position, but also to be lucky,” he said.
The other favourites are Andre Greipel, Mark Cavendish, who is third on the all-time list of Tour stage wins, and world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia.
The 188-kilometre stage ends on Utah Beach, where one of the famous World War II Normandy landings took place.
This year’s race comprises nine flat stages, nine mountain stages and two individual time trials.