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It is late October and the cycling feats of Johann Vingegaard and his team of last summer become an ever-more distant memory. However, throughout late autumn and the entire winter, professional cyclists will work on their next season and for many, the highlight is clear: The Tour de France 2024. We present you the course of the Tour de France 2024.
Tour de France edition 111 – the course explained
The 111th edition of Le Tour will start for the first time ever in Italy, in Florence on June 29 and will lead over three weeks, 3492 kilometres and more than 52.230 metres to climb and descend to Nizza for the final stage on July 21. The usual finish line will not be in Paris as the French capital prepares for the Olympic Games which kick-off only five days later.
Grand Départ in Florence
The Grand Départ will lead from Florence to Rimini on the eastern coast of Italy on the first stage. The second stage will start in Cesenatico, where Marco Pantani was born and finish in Bologna. From Piacenzw to Turin will conclude this Italian adventure of Le Tour. Of those three opening stages, two are classed as hilly which means breakaways and a stretched-out peloton.
Stage four will be the first in France and immediately the riders find themselves in the Alpes and riding up the Col du Galibier at 2642m above sea level. Three days later, stage seven is the first time trial and here those who have recovered best from the Alps will have the best chances to succeed. So far so good.
Time for Gravel
The North of France will excluded entirely in this edition: the most northern point will be Troyes for stage nine. The first week of the Tour de France 2024 will conclude with something new: the riders are asked to cover 32 kilometres of 199 in total over so-called white roads, i.e. gravel sections of unpaved roads. This is to acknowledge the new trend of gravel cycling that has taken cycling by storm over the last few years. Even the Tour de France Femmes with Zwift have seen some gravel sections included in the 2022 edition, so the men follow suit.
After this, a rest day in Orleans is well-deserved and welcomed by all riders. From then on the Tour will head south again and another mountain finish awaits on stage 11 from Evaux-les-Bains to Le Lioran over 211 kilometres. Two more flat stages before the Pyrenees stand in the way of the peloton. The Tourmalet and Plateau de Beille are on the programme on those two days after which another rest day beckons in Gruissan.
Tough times on the Mediterranean Coast
The final week on the Mediterranean coast includes places such as Nimes, Gap, Monaco and Nizza but also climbs up to the Isola 2000 Ski Resort. The short but intense 19th stage over “only” 145 kilometres poses a massive challenge as the three climbs of the day are all above 2000m, the highest being the Cime de la Bonette with 2802 metres above sea level. This is followed by an even shorter stage with another three major climbs, though not as high as the day before.
History repeating in Nizza?
The final day, the 21st stage is rather unusual as the Tour breaks with tradition by placing the second individual time trial on the last day. In 1989 the time trial led from Versailles to Paris and the French rider Laurent Fignon went into the stage in the yellow jersey. His rival, Greg LeMond beat him by 8 seconds – it was the closest ever finish of the Tour de France and since there has not been a time trial on the last day. Instead, that day was all about celebrating the overall leader and the achievement of the riders of making it through three weeks of riding the toughest cycling race in the world.
The Tour de France 2024 is an unusual one: the start will be in Italy and the finish in Nizza. There will be four mountain finishes but many more climbs. There will be two time trials – one on the last day and much more excitement throughout the three weeks.
The image used for this post was captured from the official Website of the Tour de France.
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