Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 1:04 PM
The route of the 2024 Tour de France was revealed in Paris on Wednesday. It was previously announced that the round – for the first time in its history – will start in Italy and will not arrive in Paris next year. Furthermore, climbers can indulge themselves, with several tough mountain stages in the Pyrenees and Alps, among others.
The 111th edition of the Tour de France will start next year on Italian soil. It is the first time that the biggest cycling race of the year will start in the neighboring country. This involves three journeys in line. Florence, Tuscany, will be awarded the Grand Départ on June 29, 2024. On the opening day, the peloton will travel from Florence to the coastal town of Rimini.
Spicy opening weekend on Italian soil
The battle for the first yellow jersey will be fought in the Apennines. Between Florence and Rimini there is a stage with seven climbs, with a total elevation gain of 3,800 metres. Early in the ride, cycling hero Gino Bartali is also honored with a passage through his birthplace Ponte a Ema. The Tour also passes several kilometers through San Marino.
On the second day there is a stage from Cesenatico to Bologna. The ride is also very hilly, with four climbs in the last sixty kilometers. In the final, two local rounds including the San Luca (1.9 km at 10.6%) will be held. The third and final stage presented in Italy leads from Piacenza to Turin and is made for the sprinters. There are three hills along the way that will not scare most fast men.
First mountain stage over the Col du Galibier, collecting dust on the way to Troyes
The fourth stage will also partly take place on Italian soil, but after the start in Pinerolo the riders will head to France for a finish in Valloire. The famous Col du Galibier is the undisputed judge of the first real mountain stage in this Tour. On day five the riders get a little more respite, with a transition stage between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Saint-Vulbas.
The Tour caravan then travels to northeastern France for a few days. In the sixth stage from Mâcon to Dijon it will probably be the sprinters’ turn, but a day later the classification will be overhauled again in the individual time trial of Gevrey-Chambertin – Nuits-Saint-Georges, straight past and through the vineyards of the Burgundy. Stage eight finishes in Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises.
Troyes is then the epicenter of the race, because the capital of the Aube department in the Grand Est region is the finish of the ninth Tour stage. The classification riders will be on their guard in the ninth stage, because then they will look for the white gravel paths of the Côte des Bar, a hilly champagne area. It concerns fourteen gravel strips, good for 32 kilometers of unpaved roads.
Two crucial days in the Pyrenees
After a first rest day in Orléans, the riders can prepare for a sprinter’s ride to Saint-Amand-Montrond, although in the Cher department you must always be careful of the wind and possible fan formation. The following day the peloton heads towards Le Lioran, where Greg Van Avermaet won the yellow jersey in 2016 after a great solo. This is followed by treacherous (hill) stages to Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Pau.
It is important for the classification riders to save their strength for two crucial Pyrenees stages. The first ride through this mountain massif takes you – over the famous Col du Tourmalet – to Pla d’Adet. According to French media, the organization of the Tour de France wants to commemorate Raymond Poulidor’s victory in 2024. The French cycling hero, who died in 2019, won his last Tour stage in the Pla d’Adet ski resort in 1974, exactly fifty years ago next year.
In the second Pyrenees stage, the finish line was drawn at the top of the climb in the Plateau de Beille ski resort, also a well-known Tour mountain. In the run-up to this climb, the Col de Peyresourde, Col de Menté, Col de Portet d’Aspet and Col d’Agnes follow. Plateau de Beille has already been the finish location in the Tour de France six times. The first time was in 1998 (Marco Pantani crossed the line first) and the last time in 2015. Then Joaquim Rodríguez won from an early breakaway.
Climbing in the Alps
After a second and final day of rest in the Narbonne area, the sprinters will probably get their money’s worth in Nîmes. In the seventeenth stage it starts climbing again on the way to Super-Dévoluy. The eighteenth stage from Tourstad Gap to Barcelonnette is fairly flat and could possibly end in a sprint, although the escapees will also definitely mention this stage.
There are then three very tough and decisive stages on the program in the south of France. The ride on Friday, July 19, takes place in the Alps, from Embrun to the top of Isola 2000, a climb of about sixteen kilometers at an average of 7%. In the run-up to this final climb, the drivers will also cross the Cime de la Bonette, with its summit at an altitude of over 2,800 metres. This climb was last attempted in the Tour in 2008 and is the highest asphalt road in the Alps.
Tough final weekend in and around Nice
It was already known that the Tour de France will end in Nice in 2024, and not in Paris. On the penultimate day there will be a very tough mountain stage in the Nice area. The riders then cross the Col de Braus (10 km at 6.6%), Col de Turini (20.7 km at 5.7%) and Col de la Colmiane (7.5 km at 7.1%) to the final climb: the Col de la Couillole (15.7 km at 7.1%). The penultimate stage of the most recent Paris-Nice finished at the top of this climb: the later overall winner Tadej Pogačar crossed the line as the winner.
If the differences are still playable after the last mountain stage to the Col de la Couillole, cycling fans can prepare for an exciting sporting climax. For the first time since 1989, the Tour de France will end with a time trial. The organization has drawn up a very difficult route from the dwarf state of Monaco, which will welcome the Tour for the seventh time, towards Nice.
The time trial is 35 kilometers long and takes you over mountainous terrain. After a few flat kilometers there is the climb to La Turbie (8.1 km at 5.6%), followed by the short variant of the Col d’Èze (1.6 km at 8.1%). Once at the top, it goes down at a furious pace and a few more flat kilometers follow to the finish line of the time trial and the 111th Tour.
The organization will undoubtedly hope for a similar denouement as in 1989. Then Greg LeMond beat his great rival Laurent Fignon out of the yellow jersey by eight seconds after a nail-biting apotheosis in the final time trial in Paris.
Trip schedule Tour de France 2024 (June 29-July 21)
29/06 – Stage 1: Firenze/Florence – Rimini (206 km)
30/06 – Stage 2: Cesenatico – Bologna (200 km)
01/07 – Stage 3: Piacenza – Turin (229 km)
02/07 – Stage 4: Pinerolo – Valloire (138 km)
03/07 – Stage 5: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Saint-Vulbas (177 km)
04/07 – Stage 6: Mâcon – Dijon (163 km)
05/07 – Stage 7: Gevrey-Chambertin – Nuits-Saint-Georges (25 km, ITT)
06/07 – Stage 8: Semur-en-Auxois – Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises (176 km)
07/07 – Stage 9: Troyes – Troyes (199 km)
08/07 – Rest day in Orléans
09/07 – Stage 10: Orléans – Saint-Amand-Montrond (187 km)
10/07 – Stage 11: Evaux-les-Bains – Le Lioran (211 km)
11/07 – Stage 12: Aurillac – Villeneuve-sur-Lot (204 km)
12/07 – Stage 13: Agen – Pau (171 km)
13/07 – Stage 14: Pau – Saint-Lary-Soulan/Pla d’Adet (152 km)
14/07 – Stage 15: Loudenvielle – Plateau de Beille (198 km)
15/07 – Rest day in Narbonne
16/07 – Stage 16: Gruissan – Nîmes (187 km)
17/07 – Stage 17: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Super-Dévoluy (178 km)
18/07 – Stage 18: Gap – Barcelonnette (179 km)
19/07 – Stage 19: Embrun – Isola 2000 (145 km)
20/07 – Stage 20: Nice – Col de la Couillole (133 km)
21/07 – Etappe 21: Monaco – Nice (34 km, ITT)
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