Much will be different at the Tour de France 2024. Must be. The cycling dominant of the year will be seriously disturbed by the Olympic Games, which will take place in Paris. They start on the 26th of July, the Tour ends on the 21st, which is not exactly good for the Old Lady. The organizers had to have a hard time coping with this. It made them make a lot of changes, incorporate a lot of firsts and plot twists.
The competition will be overwhelming – two-time winner Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič, Sep Kuss, but especially Remco Evenepoel, who will drive the Old Lady for the first time. And watch out, the immortal Mark Cavendish will also appear among the sprinters, who will try to break the current record of 34 winning stages.
The route will be 3492 km. It is neither too little nor too much, but rather more than has been usual in recent years. The last time it was longer was in 2017 – 3540 km.
The Tour will again have 21 stages and, in addition to France, it will pass through three other countries – Italy, San Marino and Monte Carlo. Seven mountain stages await the peloton, four of which will finish on the summits.
It is precisely because of the Olympics that the Tour will not go to Paris, but it will culminate in the final time trial in Nice. It is a breakthrough, since the start of the Tour in 1903, the race has always finished in Paris.
Only 28 thousand policemen
“We wanted to avoid Paris because of the Olympics,” director Christian Prudhomme told Reuters. “There are only 28 thousand police forces available, we knew we couldn’t get more.”
The start will be in Italy for the first time in history. The race will start in Florence and the next three stages will lead through Italian territory, places like Rimini, Cesenatico, Bologna or Turin.
Already in the first week of the race, the famous Galibier hill will be on the route of the 4th stage. “The Tour has never been so early and so high,” said director Prudhomme on another news.
The 7th stage will be the first time trial of 25 km across the Burgundy vineyards. The opening week will then end with a demanding stage with 14 sectors of gravel roads around Troyes southeast of Paris.
Everything culminates in the Alps and a time trial in Nice
The second week will take the peloton first into the Massif Central. The 14th stage will then bring the first grand final on top of a mountain deep in the Pyrenees. But first the cyclists will have to overcome the dreaded Tourmalet.
In the 15th stage, on the anniversary of the conquest of the Bastille, comes the final climb to the Plateau de Beille (15.8 km and 7.9%) and a total of six hills with a total elevation of 4850 m.
The 17th stage will finally head to the Alps. The end of the Tour will be like thunder. The first giant test will take place in the 19th stage with an exit to 2,800 m in the middle of the route and the end at the 2,000 m Isole. The 20th stage will have four hard climbs and everything will end the next day in Nice with a really hilly 34km time trial.
It will be the first time since 1989 that the Tour ends with an individual time trial. That’s when Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon to secure the big win. Is the Tour 2024 also waiting for a big turning point? Everything is possible.