The routes of the 2024 Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will be presented in Paris on Wednesday, ending the rumours, reports and speculation about the courses of the sport’s biggest races.
The Velowire website and local French media have revealed many of the key stages and details of the Tour de France, but many details remain concealed even so close to the official presentation. There are still some ‘known unknowns’, Donald Rumsfeld the former US Secretary of Defense would have said if he was studying the race routes.
For the men, will there be a first week individual time trial or will it be a team time trial? How many kilometres of gravel roads will be included through the Champagne vineyards? What climbs will be included in the two expected mountain finishes in the Pyrenees?
The Alps will dominate the final week before the men’s final time trial to Nice but how long will the mountain stages be and what legendary climbs will be included?
We have tried to work out the details and understand the possibilities before Wednesday’s big reveal.
What we know so far
Race organisers ASO have already revealed the stages of the Grand Départ in Italy, with the three days of racing starting with two hilly road rides to Cesenatico and Bologna, followed by a flat ride and probable sprint finish in Turin.
The final stages around Nice are also known, with the Mediterranean city hosting the finish of the Tour for the first time due to the 2024 Olympic Games occupying Paris.
Stage 20 is short at 132 kilometres but heads into the tough climbs of Alpes-Maritimes and ends atop the Col de la Couillole, a 15.7km climb. The final stage is no parade stage, with the 35km hilly time trial from Monaco to Nice expected to create a thrilling and testing finish to the 2024 Grand Boucle.
It is the first time in Tour de France history that the race will end outside of Paris and the first time that the Tour ends with a time trial since Greg LeMond dramatically defeated Laurent Fignon on the Champs-Elysées in 1989.
Time trial or team time trial on stage 7?
The first week of the Tour de France leaves Italy via the Alps with an early climb of the Col du Galibier and a descent to the finish in Valloire. It could be a chance for Tom Pidock (Ineos Grenadiers) to repeat his breathtaking Col du Galibier descent of 2022.
The race then heads northwest towards Dijon for the first time trial on stage 7 around the Bourgogne Côte d’Or vineyards. Velowire and…