Preview: Stage 1 Tour de France 2024


The Tour de France is starting in Italy for the first time in its history. The opening stage leads from Florence in Tuscany over 206 kilometers and through the Apennines to Rimini on the Adriatic coast. What a contrast between culture and beach fun. The riders will have little of either on this day. The distance alone is tough, with seven categorized climbs totaling 3,600 meters of elevation gain. It’s quite possible that one of the top contenders for the overall victory will don the yellow jersey at the end of this stage.

Stage 1 | 29 June | Florence – Rimini | 206 km | 3,600 m elevation gain


For those with time and interest in sightseeing, the route of stage 1 is ideal. Starting from Florence with its many landmarks, the route passes through Tuscany and the Apennine hills, crossing the microstate of San Marino before finishing in the coastal city of Rimini.

For the racers, it’s a different story. About 35 flat kilometers precede the first climb of the day. This isn’t just any category-4 hill seen in other opening stages, but a category-2 climb. The road ascends 12.5 kilometers at an average gradient of 5.1% to the 930-meter-high Valico Tre Faggi pass, as the Italians call it.

From there, the riders will descend on a long downhill stretch leading directly into the short and sharp Côte des Forche (2.5 kilometers at 6.2%). About ten kilometers later, the first sprint of the Tour will take place in Santa Sofia. Those who push for green jersey points here should be aware that the Colle del Carnaio follows less than three kilometers later. This narrow road climbs 7.1 kilometers at 6%, a name that translates to “the charnel house.” Those who fall behind here have over 30 kilometers on a downhill section to catch up before encountering a quartet of climbs.

Five Climbs in 50 Kilometers

From Mercato Saraceno at race kilometer 129.3 in Emilia-Romagna to the summit of the Côte de San Marino, the stage goes up and down for 50 kilometers. The Côte de Barbotto (5.8 kilometers at 7.6%) is followed by the Côte de San Leo (4.6 kilometers at 7.7%) – both category-2 climbs – and the Côte de Montemaggio (4.2 kilometers at 6.6%), before crossing into San Marino. The Côte de San Marino, a category-3 climb of 7.1 kilometers at an average of 4.8%, caps off this climbing section.

From there, it’s 25 kilometers to the finish. The first ten kilometers descend back into Italy, and the final fifteen kilometers are flat, ending the stage at the sea.


Favourites Check: Stage Win and Yellow Jersey

Will Tadej Pogacar take the yellow jersey on the first day? Or will he let a teammate break away on the final climb with other “less dangerous” riders? Or will “Pogi” finish in a small leading group and miss the victory? These could be the possible scenarios for the first stage of the 2024 Tour de France.

There will likely be an early breakaway group, similar to the Giro d’Italia opening stage. This group will be chased down in the final 70 kilometres. The pace will likely be very high as the GC teams position their leaders for the seven categorized climbs, accelerating the race.

It will be interesting to see when top riders like Tom Pidcock, Primoz Roglic, or Tadej Pogacar take the initiative and attack in the last 40 to 50 kilometres.

For classics riders like Mathieu van der Poel, Mads Pedersen, or a resurgent Wout van Aert, the 3,600 metres of climbing will likely be too tough, similar to the opening stage in the Basque Country last year. They are expected to be dropped during the final long climbs.

Classifications of Stage 1 of the Tour de France

Sprint Classifications

  • Santa Sofia | Race kilometer 86.6

Mountain Classifications

  • Col de Valico Tre Faggi (930 m) | Category 2 | Race kilometer 49.7
  • Côte des Forche | Category 3 | Race kilometer 77.8
  • Côte de Carnaio | Category 3 | Race kilometer 98.3
  • Côte de Barbotto (584 m) | Category 2 | Race kilometer 135.6
  • Côte de San Leo (572 m) | Category 2 | Race kilometer 157.3
  • Côte de Montemaggio | Category 3 | Race kilometer 167.1
  • Côte de San Marino | Category 3 | Race kilometer 179.7

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