(Paris) Which way between Florence and Nice? While the starting and finishing points of the 2024 Tour de France are already known, the veil lifts on Wednesday on the rest of the route of a 111e edition turned upside down by the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Like every year, the ASO organizers take over the Palais des Congrès to present at midday the itinerary of the high mass in July, as well as its female version which will take place in August.
And as always, the triumphant announcements of certain local elected officials, the hotel reservations and the observations of witnesses who were able to meet Tour officials during their scouting already make it possible to sketch the broad outlines.
Except that this year, the two main attractions and new features have already been made official for months, linked to the holding of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris (July 26-August 11) which influences both the dates and the route of the Grande Loop.
The Tour will therefore leave a week earlier than usual, on June 29, for three weeks of racing. And he will set out from abroad, for the 26e time in history, the third in a row after Copenhagen in 2022 and Bilbao this year.
This choice is more than ever “accepted and claimed” by Tour director Christian Prudhomme to relieve the police already mobilized by the Games.
The Tour will therefore start from Florence, which will allow the passage to put an end to a “historical anomaly” since it will be the first time that Italy, a historic nation of cycling, will experience a “grand departure”, a hundred years after the victory of ‘Ottavio Bottecchia.
Arrival in time in Nice
In total, there will be three complete stages in Italy, the first of which is already very mountainous, before entering French territory with a first and brief foray into the Alps which we will find at the end of the route with the unprecedented arrival at Nice on July 21.
Here too, the choice was dictated by the Olympics since Paris will be in full preparations. However, it is a revolution, because the Tour had always ended in the capital until then.
To top it off, the last stage will offer, instead of the friendly procession to the Champs-Élysées, a potentially decisive individual time trial between Monaco and Nice, 35 years after Greg Lemond’s victory by eight seconds against to Laurent Fignon in 1989.
And this time promises to be a real justice of the peace since it will climb to La Turbie, then to the Col d’Eze before finishing at Place Massena in Nice after 35.2 km.
The penultimate stage also offers quite a roller coaster ride with a short (132 km) but dizzying stage (4400 meters of altitude difference) to the summit of the Col de la Couillole.
The day before, the Tour will arrive at Isola 2000, as recently announced by the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi.
Rotterdam for the Women’s Tour
It remains to discover in detail the menu that awaits runners between Italy and the Promenade des Anglais. The geography encourages you to cross the Alps for the first time before making a loop in France and revisiting the Alpine massif at the end of the third week.
Overall, the 2024 course should be pleasant for attackers even if it promises to be a little less mountainous than that of the last edition.
Several mythical peaks should appear on the map. The Galibier, the Tourmalet and the summit of the Bonette (2802 m) are mentioned to balance the return of a second individual time trial as a call to the Belgian Remco Evenepoel.
We will also know the route of the women’s Tour de France which will also be influenced by the Olympics and will also start from abroad, from Rotterdam.
Previously placed as an extension of the Men’s Tour, the race will this time start on August 12 with an arrival scheduled for August 18, possibly in the Alps.
Three of the eight stages will take place in the Netherlands, including two on the same day including a time trial, to compensate for the fact that the race will have one day less. She will only leave on a Monday, again due to the Paris Games which will end the day before.