The stages are set for the 2024 Tour de France with highlights including a start in Italy, finish in Nice, two individual time trials, five summit finishes, and even gravel sectors on stage nine.
Covering a total of 3,492km and taking in 52,320 meters of overall elevation across the 21 stages, this edition of the men’s race promises to be a very special edition of ‘La Grande Boucle’.
The 2024 Tour breaks tradition by starting in Italy for the first three stages and concluding in Nice, a departure from the customary Parisian finish due to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
And due to the Paris Olympics the women’s race won’t start directly after the mens but weeks later on August 12 (full details below).
With challenging routes through the Alps, the Massif Central, and the Pyrenees, this race features four summit finishes at Pla d’Adet, the Plateau de Beille, Superdévoluy, Isola 2000, and the Col de la Couillole. There’s also 59km of time trialing across stages seven and 21.
Stage nine introduces a twist with 14 gravel sectors covering a total of 32km, with six clustered within the final 35km. The longest sector spans 4km, adding extra excitement to the race.
The race’s grand finale features a hilly time trial in Nice instead of the usual procession into Paris, ensuring that the competition remains thrilling until the very end. The final week, in particular, holds the potential for significant developments in GC.
With eight sprint opportunities scattered along the route, the battle for stage victories promises to be intense. Riders like Mark Cavendish will be eagerly anticipating specific stages, such as Saint-Amand-Montrond and Nîmes, where they have previously triumphed.
Stage one starts in Florence, spans 205km and includes a gruelling 3,800 meters of climbing, setting a high bar. The second stage, starting in Cesenatico, hometown of Marco Pantani, heads to Bologna through Emilia-Romagna, replicating the route of the Giro dell’Emilia. The stage features the demanding San Luca climb, tackled twice.
Stage three offers opportunities for the sprinters (Mark Cavendish!) and covers 225km from Piacenza to Turin.
As the race finally enters France in stage four, the Alps pose significant challenges, with climbs including Sestriere, Col de Montgenèvre, and Col du Galiber preceding a descent to Valloire.
Stages five and six to Saint-Vulbas and Dijon are potential sprint stages, but fast riders may face unexpected challenges.
The first individual time trial emerges in stage seven, although it is a technical course rather than one for pure time trial specialists. Stage eight, on the other hand, sets the stage for sprinters to shine once more.
G, G, Gravel…
Stage nine offers a standout feature in the opening week, incorporating gravel roads in the Champagne region. Inspired by the Tour de France Femmes 2022, this stage presents 32km of gravel across 14 sectors, marking the most extensive use of gravel in the Tour’s history.
Following a rest day in Orléans, the race heads south toward the Pyrenees, with stage ten likely to be a sprint stage, yet the unpredictable winds can come into play. Stage 11 returns to medium mountains, resembling the route where Greg Van Avermaet secured the yellow jersey in 2016. With 4,500m of climbing, this stage promises to test the riders’ endurance.
Stages 12 and 13 present further sprinting opportunities, with stage 13 appearing favorable for a bunch finish.
Stage 14 marks the introduction of the Pyrenean challenges, concluding at the summit of Pla d’Adet, a site of Raymond Poulidor’s historic victory 50 years ago. The stage includes traversing the Col du Tourmalet and the Hourquette d’Ancizan in just 152km.
The climbing continues unabated, with stage 15 on Bastille Day leading from Loudenvielle to Plateau de Beille. Covering 198km and featuring 4,850 meters of climbing, this stage navigates the challenging Peyresourde, Col de Menté, Col de Portet d’Aspet, Col de la Core, and Col d’Agnès, culminating in the final test on Plateau de Beille, likely to have a significant impact on the race’s direction.
Stage 20 possesses the aura of a Paris-Nice penultimate stage and lives up to it. Renowned climbs including the Col de Braus, Col de Turini, Col de La Colimiane, and the Col de la Couillole are tackled consecutively, resulting in a remarkable 4,500 meters of elevation gain within 132km.
Concluding the 2024 Tour is a unique twist, as a final day time trial in Nice replaces the customary Paris procession. The 35km course features challenging climbs at La Turbie and the Col d’Eze before culminating on the Promenade des Anglais, sure to provide a spectacular finish.
Our tip: keen to see the finish? Book early as the price of accommodation in Nice is sure to be sky high come July!
The Tour de France Femmes Avec Zwift
The 2024 Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift looks set to be the most thrilling yet with the final stages on the iconic Alpe d’Huez climb.
Scheduled to commence on August 12, a day after the conclusion of the Paris Olympics, the race spans eight stages over 7 days.
The Grand Départ takes place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, marking a historic departure from French soil. The second day offers a unique challenge with two stages, including a 67km road race in the morning and a 6.3km individual time trial in the afternoon.
Stage four pays tribute to the legendary Liège-Bastogne-Liège and starts in the Dutch city of Valkenburg and concluding across the Belgian border in Liège. The 122km stage is peppered with iconic climbs such as the Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de la Roche aux Faucons.
Stage five welcomes the peloton back to French roads, featuring an undulating route leading to Amnéville in the Grand Est, ensuring a test of their mettle.
Stage six takes riders through the picturesque Vosges, offering a tantalizing taste of mountainous terrain before the grueling final weekend in the Alps.
The race crescendos with stages seven and eight, where consecutive summit finishes await at the renowned ski resorts of Le Grand-Bornand and then the mighty Alpe d’Huez.
The final day presents the ultimate challenge with riders tackling nearly 4,000 meters of elevation in the form of the 20km-long Col du Glandon before climbing the 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez.