Tour de France 2024: Preview on Stage 2


On day two, the Tour stage runs from Cesenatico on the Adriatic coast through Emilia Romagna to Bologna. At 199.2 kilometers, the stage is only slightly shorter but with just half the elevation gain, it is less demanding than the opening stage. However, the final circuit in Bologna, featuring a double ascent of the legendary San Luca climb, will fracture the peloton. Ultimately, the victory will likely be contested by the GC leaders and a few strong climbers. Additionally, this day features the first of four bonus sprints in the Tour, offering extra time bonuses.


Stage | June 30 | Cesenatico to Bologna | 199.2 km | 1,850 m elevation gain

The second stage of the Tour starts in Cesenatico, the hometown of Marco Pantani, and moves inland from the Adriatic coast through Emilia Romagna to Bologna.

Covering almost 200 kilometers, riders will tackle six climbs of the third and fourth categories.

The stage starts flat from Cesenatico heading north to Ravenna, before turning southwest through Faenza towards the first categorized climb.

After 70 flat kilometers, the riders will encounter the Côte de Monticino (2 kilometers at 7.5%) followed by the Côte de Gallisterna (1.2 kilometers at 12.8%), familiar to some from the 2020 World Championships in Imola.

Speaking of Imola, halfway through the race, the peloton will enter the Enzo Ferrari Formula 1 Circuit and then proceed to Dozza, where the intermediate sprint occurs at kilometer 108.1.

The next key climb comes at kilometer 139 with the category-4 Côte de Botteghino di Zocca (1.9 kilometers at 6.9%). Although there are still 60 kilometers to go, the final phase of the race might start here, especially if breakaway riders are ahead.

After climbing the Côte de Montecalvo (2.7 kilometers at 7.7%), the riders will enter a 19-kilometer circuit in Bologna, which they must complete twice.


Special Feature of Stage 2: Double Ascent of Côte de San Luca in the Finale

The standout feature of this stage is undoubtedly the climb to the Sanctuary of San Luca, a familiar challenge from the individual time trial of the 2019 Giro d’Italia and the autumn classic Giro dell’Emilia. This climb is where the race is often decided.

The ascent to San Luca is 1.9 kilometers long with an average gradient of 10.6 percent. The initial 400 meters are particularly steep, with gradients exceeding 12 percent and ramps up to 16 percent.

The second ascent of this challenging climb offers the first bonus seconds of the Tour. The top three riders will earn time bonuses of 8, 5, and 2 seconds.

Unlike the Giro dell’Emilia, which finishes at the top, the Tour riders will descend from the summit of this category-3 climb, face a small counter-climb, and then race to the finish in Bologna.


Header Image: Stefan Rachow