The Tour de France will start from Italy in 2024 for the first time in its history. The departure will be from Florence for an 111th edition decidedly unlike the others with a final arrival in Nice, the organizers announced on Wednesday December 21.
“The Tour started from all the countries bordering France. He even left the Netherlands six times, which has no common border with France. But he has never left Italy yet. There is a kind of incongruity that will disappear”explains to AFP Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France who is in Italy until Friday to present this 26th Grand departure from abroad, the third consecutive after Copenhagen in 2022 and Bilbao in 2023.
In total, there will be three stages in Italy to launch the 2024 edition which, due to the Olympic Games in Paris, will end exceptionally in Nice with, as the organizers had already announced, a final individual time trial on the 21 July, five days before the start of the Olympics in the capital.
The first stage, on June 29, will connect Florence to Rimini – “a mid-mountain or even mountain stage with an elevation gain of 3,700 meters”, according to Prudhomme. The second, cut out for punchers, will start from Cesenatico and end on a final circuit in Bologna via Imola where Julian Alaphilippe won his first world championship title in 2020.
“Leaving abroad, I claim it”
The third, promised to the sprinters, will go from Plaisance to Turin. The fourth stage should also take off in Italy and then arrive in France.
“Leaving abroad, I not only assume it but I claim it. French security forces will be in huge demand in 2024, so a big departure from abroad can help”insists Prudhomme.
For the Tour, it is also an opportunity to celebrate Italian cycling, so rich, as 2024 marks the centenary of the first Italian victory in the Grand Boucle, that of Ottavio Bottecchia in 1924.