The 111th edition of the Tour de France is expected to start in Italy in 2024, with the Grand Depart in Florence and stages celebrating former winners Gino Bartali, Riccardo Nencini, Marco Pantani, Ottavio Bottecchia and Fausto Coppi.
Bottecchia was the first Italian to win the Tour de France and 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of his victory.
The Tour de France has visited Italy a number of times but never started there. Thanks to an estimated €10 million fee raised by the Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Piemonte regions, the 2024 Grand Boucle will include three stages in Italy and the start of stage 4 in Pinerolo before the race heads into France via the Alps.
According to a detailed report by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 2024 Tour de France will also have a unique finish, with Nice expected to host the final stage instead of Paris.
The French capital will host the Olympic Games in 2024, making it impossible to host the traditional final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées just a few days before the Opening Ceremony. The 2024 Tour de France will be held between Saturday June 29 and Sunday July 21, a week earlier than usual, with the Paris Olympics scheduled for between July 26 and August 11.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme visited Italy in 2020 to first negotiate a deal for the Grand Depart and in recent weeks race staff have visited the locations of the different stages to assess the logistics.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the opening stage will start in Florence in Piazzale Michelangelo that overlooks the Renaissance city. The 190km road stage will celebrate 1938 and 1945 Tour winner Gino Bartali by passing through his birthplace in Ponte a Ema. The stage will then climb through the Apeninnes and finish on the Romagna coast in Rimini to show off the Adriatic coastline.
Stage 2 will start in Cesenatico, where Marco Pantani was born, and also climb into the hills before a finish in central Bologna after 200km of racing. This stage could climb up to Barberino di Mugello to remember 1960 winner Gastone Nencini.
Stage 3 will be from Modena to Piacenza with another hilly road stage, much like the 2021 Giro d’Italia stage to Sestola, where the USA’s Joe Dombrowski won. The area is known as Italy’s food valley due to the production of cured ham and Parmigiano cheese.
After a transfer west to Piemonte, the Tour de France will leave Italy from Pinerolo, recalling Fausto Coppi’s legendary breakaway in the 1949 Tour de France. Coppi was the first rider to ever complete the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double in 1949 and repeated the feat in 1952.
Prudhomme is expected to confirm Italy as the host of the 2024 Grand Depart when the full route of the 2023 race is presented in Paris in late October.
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