Another part of the 2024 Tour de France route has fallen into place after the Mayor of Nice confirmed that stage 19 will finish at the Isola 2000 ski station in the southern Alps.
Christian Estrosi, who is also president of the Métropole Nice-Côte d’Azur region that contains the Isola 2000 ski station, as well as the mayor of Nice, made the announcement via X, formerly Twitter, earlier this week.
The confirmation of the inclusion of Isola 2000 means the finale of the 2024 Tour de France will contain back-to-back summit finishes on stages 19 and then stage 20 at la La Col de Couillole, prior to the medium-length time trial from Monaco to Nice on the last day.
Stage 19 is expected to feature a very similar route to when the race held its only previous finish at Isola 2000, back in 1993.
That year, Philippa York led over the Bonette-Restefond, one of Europe’s highest mountain passes, prior to the race reaching Isola 2000. York was then caught by race leader Miguel Indurain and KoM leader Tony Rominger, and despite attacking again on the final ascent, Rominger finally won the stage.
16 kilometres long and with an average gradient of 6.9%, Isola 2000 is toughest in its first half before easing out for a longer upper grind to the summit, which as its name suggests, peaks out at just over 2000 metres above sea level.
It also featured in the 2008 Tour mid-way through a stage starting in Cuneo and finishing in Jausiers, and again on the route of a stage of 2016 Giro d’Italia.
In other news about the potential Tour route, according to the specialist website Velowire, the first week of the race will feature two stages in the Alps, but a possible early summit finish at the Croix de Fer looks increasingly unlikely. A finish in the Alpine town of Valloire could well be on the cards, though.
Other predicted highlights such as a time trial in Dijon and a stage including gravel roads near Troyes at the end of the first week, finishes at Pla d’Adet and Plateau de Beille in the Pyrenees during the second, and four stages in the Alps in the third week, all remain possible.
Full publication of the 2024 Tour de France route is in just under two weeks’ time, on October 25th in Paris.