The Tour de France 2024 will start from Italy for the first time

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 disappearexplains Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France who is in Italy until Friday to present this 26th big departure from abroad, the third in a row 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 3700 meters, according to Prudhomme. The second, cut for puncherswill start from Cesenatico and end on a final circuit in Bologna passing through Imola where Julian Alaphilippe won his first world championship title in 2020.

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 helpinsists Prudhomme.

The big boss Christian Prudhomme aboard the lead car of the Tour de France 2019

Photo: AFP/Getty Images / JEFF PACHOUD

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 Grande Boucle, that of Ottavio Bottecchia in 1924.

At kilometer zero after Florence, we will pass the Gino Bartali museum (double winner of the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948). We will also pass in front of the place where Fausto Coppi rests. There will be a stage start in Cesenatico where Marco Pantani is buried. There is a clear link with the legend of Italian cycling and its champions. »

A quote from Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France

This great departure from Italy, 70 years after the first launch from abroad (Amsterdam in 1954), therefore repairs a fairly inexplicable anomaly for two neighboring countries also in love with cycling. The deal came close to closing several times but, for various reasons, was always delayed.

At the end of March 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Matteo Renzi, the former mayor of Florence and ex-president of the Council, texted me a photo of his city with this word: “Florence empty, deserted but so beautiful. I haven’t forgotten my dreams of a big start. After the pandemic, let’s see”. It restarted the thingsays Prudhomme, impatient to see the runners finally pacing the open-air museum of Florence, the shores of the Adriatic and the crossing of the Apennines.

The Tour de France 2024 will start from Italy for the first time