Preview Tour de France 2024: Stage 4


The short but tough fourth stage of the Tour de France 2024 marks the first entry into French territory. The 139.6-kilometer high alpine route starts in Pinerolo, ascends to Sestriere, and crosses the border at the Col de Montgenèvre, bringing the peloton into France. The first major mountain challenge comes 19 kilometers before the finish in Valloire, with the riders tackling the 2,642-meter-high Col du Galibier. Such a demanding stage is rare this early in the Tour. Some experts predict that by the end of the day, only 20 riders will still be in contention for the top spots in the overall standings over the next two and a half weeks.

Stage 4 | July 2 | Pinerolo to Valloire | 139.6 km | 3,600 m elevation gain


Starting in Pinerolo, Italy, 50 kilometers southwest of Turin, the riders will face an immediate climb. The road begins to ascend gradually but continues for an extended period. The official climb to the winter resort of Sestriere is 39.9 kilometers long, with a moderate average gradient of 3.7 percent, but the first ten kilometers are also uphill. In total, the stage ascends for the first 50 kilometers to an elevation of 2,035 meters.

After an 11-kilometer descent to Cesana Torinese, the next climb begins: the Col de Montgenèvre (8.3 kilometers at 5.9 percent). At the summit (1,860 meters), a second-category climb, the peloton enters France, the home of the Tour de France.

Following another 11-kilometer descent, the riders reach Briançon, the highest fortified town in Europe, which signals the start of the stage’s finale. Turning right, the route heads into the French Alps. Passing through La Salle-les-Alpes and Le Monêtier-les-Bains, the peloton reaches the base of the legendary Col du Galibier climb.

The Col du Galibier will be climbed for the 37th time in the Tour de France 2024. Its first appearance was in 1911, as the first Alpine pass in the race. It was last climbed twice in 2022.

This Hors Catégorie climb is 23 kilometers long with an average gradient of 5.1 percent. However, this average is deceptive. Up to the Col du Lautaret, the gradient remains below 5.5 percent. From the Lautaret at 2,061 meters, the air gets thinner, the road narrows, and the gradient steepens significantly, with sections reaching nine percent. After summiting at 2,642 meters, there are still 18.9 fast kilometers of descent to the finish in Valloire.

Highlight of the 4th Stage: Col du Galibier


Favorites Check: Stage Win and Yellow Jersey

Will the fight for the overall lead start in earnest on this stage? Will Tadej Pogacar have his UAE Team Emirates set the pace? He likely will, wanting to test the form of Jonas Vingegaard (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) on the long climbs. Or will Red Bull-Bora-hansgrohe take the offensive? From Briançon over the Col du Lautaret to just below the Galibier summit, a strong team leader could have his squad set the pace and then take over in the final uphill kilometers and the fast descent to Valloire.

Maybe Ineos Grenadiers will launch an early attack with one of their three top-placed riders? There’s also interest in how Richard Carapaz (EF Education–EasyPost), the new Yellow Jersey wearer, will perform. Will the Yellow Jersey inspire him to ride with the best, and will his team support him like a true GC squad?

Given the stage’s short length of just under 140 kilometers, the breakaway group forming on the long climb to Sestriere is unlikely to succeed. If the GC teams start pushing hard from Briançon, any lead they have will quickly evaporate.

Stage 4 Classifications

Intermediate Sprint

  • Castel del Bosco | Kilometer 18.9

King of the Mountains

  • Sestrière (2,035 m) | Category 2 | Kilometer 50.4
  • Col de Montgenèvre (1,860 m) | Category 2 | Kilometer 71.1
  • Col du Galibier (2,642 m) | Category 1 | Kilometer 120.7

Time Bonuses

  • Col du Galibier (2,642 m) | Kilometer 120.7

Header Image: © ASO