Preview: Route and Stages of the Tour de France 2024
The 111th Tour de France starts with a complete novelty. For the first time the worlds famous cycling race starts in Italy. But not only the start in Florence is a premiere. Due to the Olympics 2024, there won’t be an epic finish on the legendary Champs Èlysees. The Tour de France 2024 will end in Nice at the Côte d’Azur.
Seven mountain stages with five summit finishes, two time trials, one undulating gravel stage, eight flat stages, and three hilly sections – that’s the Tour de France 2024 in numerical terms. The 111th edition of the most famous cycling race starts on June 29th in Florence and finishes, 21 stages and 3,492 kilometers later, on July 21st in Nice.
Week one of the 2024 Tour de France
As known since the end of 2022, the Grand Depart takes place in Italy. The opening stage leads the peloton from Florence to Rimini, covering 206 kilometers and presenting an early challenge to the overall contenders. The pro-riders will have to tackle 3,600 meters of elevation gain in the hills of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.
It is expected to be getting hot on the ascent to San Marino, located just about 20 kilometers from the finish. On day two, it’s an opportunity for punchers to shine as the stage ends in Bologna after 200 kilometers with two challenging closing laps. Stage three, the longest of this tour at 229 kilometers, will be a sprinter’s day.
On the fourth stage, the Tour leaves Italy and returns to its home country, France, but not without a challenging route through the Alps. Crossing Sestriere, the border pass Col du Montgenevre, and the Col du Galibier, the pros will battle for a stage victory and the Yellow Jersey in Valloire, just 20 kilometers later.
After two flat stages, expected to culminate in a royal sprint, the first time trial of this Tour covers 25.3 kilometers.
That should provide enough excitement for the first week. However, after another flat stage, the A.S.O. surprises the riders with a gravel section. Modeled after the 4th stage of the 2022 Tour de France Femmes, this undulating segment around Troyes includes 14 gravel sectors with a total length of 32.2 kilometers.
Week two of the 2024 Tour de France
Following a stage tailored for the sprinters, stage 11 takes an immediate upward turn. Not to extreme altitudes, but rather into challenging ascents. On the final 45 kilometers, professionals must conquer four short but steep climbs to reach the stage finish in Le Lioran after a total of 211 kilometers.
After two flat stages, it’s time to shift gears back to climbing. Two mountain finishes back-to-back in the Pyrenees are marked in the roadbook. The 14th stage concludes after an epic ascent to the Col du Tourmalet in Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet. The next day, a 198-kilometer ride with a total elevation gain of 4,850 meters culminates on the Plateau de Beille.
Week three of the 2024 Tour de France
After a flat stage, the Tour returns to the Alps in the third week. The target of the 17th stage is a new climb up to Superdévoluy, serving as an appetizer for what’s on the menu two days later. On the route from Embrun to the mountain finish at Isola 2000, the peloton must conquer three climbs that breach the 2000-meter mark. The absolute highlight is the Cime de la Bonnette at 2,802 meters. It is the highest paved road in France and was last featured in the Tour in 2008.
It will be fascinating to watch how the riders cope with the altitude during the stage as well as how they can recover from it. Because one day later, the 20th stage takes the peloton from Nice, traversing Col de Turini and Col de la Colmiane, and ascending to Col de la Couillole. It’s worth noting that on the 133-kilometer route with 4,600 meters of elevation gain, flat roads will be a rarity.
If the time gaps within the top ten riders are narrow – within a range of about one to one and a half minutes – the final time trial from Monaco to Nice could be the deciding factor. This time trial covers 34 kilometers, includes climbs like la Turbie and Col d’Eze, and is not suited for pure time trial specialists.
Conclusion about the Tour de France 2024 route.
Survival of the fittest – admittedly, that applies to anyone who has reached Paris in the Tour so far. But after seeing the presentation of this route, it’s clear that it applies, especially to the GC leaders. From day one, they need to be not only focused but also consistently perform at their best. They must keep a close eye on their reserves and manage them wisely. Ultimately, fatigue resistance could be the deciding factor in determining victory and placement, as the third week demands everything.
In comparison to the Giro d’Italia, the Tour appears to be more challenging, and now it even seems to “emulate” and intensify the challenging final week for which the Italian race is known. However, on paper at least, the Tour de France offers more opportunities for punchers and classic specialists.
With the demanding final week and the subsequent events at the Olympics in mind, we can only wait and see who not only participates in the Tour but also completes it.
All 21 Stages of the Tour de France 2024
1st Stage | June 29 | Florence – Rimini | 206 km
2nd Stage | June 30 | Cesenatico – Bologna | 200 km
3rd Stage | July 1 | Piacenza – Turin | 229 km
4th Stage | July 2 | Pinerolo – Valloire | 138 km
5th Stage | July 3 | Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Saint Vulbas | 177 km
6th Stage | July 4 | Mâcon – Dijon | 163 km
7th Stage | July 5 | Nuits-Saint-Georges – Gevrey-Chambertin | 25.3 km
8th Stage | July 6 | Semur-en-Auxois – Colombey-les-Deux-Églises | 176 km
9th Stage | July 7 | Troyes – Troyes | 199 km
10th Stage | July 9 | Orleans – Saint-Amand-Montrond | 187 km
11th Stage | July 10 | Évian-les-Bains – Le Lioran | 211 km
12th Stage | July 11 | Aurillac – Villeneuve-sur-Lot | 204 km
13th Stage | July 12 | Agen – Pau | 171 km
14th Stage | July 13 | Pau – Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet | 152 km
15th Stage | July 14 | Loudenvielle – Plateau de Beille | 198 km
16th Stage | July 16 | Gruissan – Nîmes | 187 km
17th Stage | July 17 | Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Superdévoluy | 178 km
18th Stage | July 18 | Gap – Barcelonette | 179 km
19th Stage | July 19 | Embrun – Isola 2000 | 145 km
20th Stage | July 20 | Nice – Col de la Couillole | 133 km
21st Stage | July 21 | Monaco – Nice | 34 km
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