The Tour de France, a spectacle that graces the French countryside every summer, is not just a race but a celebration of endurance, camaraderie, and the beautiful landscapes of France and neighboring countries.
Every year, as the details of the new route get unveiled, the anticipation among the cycling community and fans builds up. The route for the 111th Tour de France edition will be unveiled at 10 am GMT, on 25 October. It has been a hot topic of discussion, with rumors promising an epic race that could go down in history as the best.
Here are 10 rumors that have been making rounds, and if they hold true, we are in for an exhilarating ride next summer from June 29 to July 21, 2024.
Grand Départ in Italy
The word on the street is that the 2024 Tour de France could take a scenic start from the heart of Florence, on June 29, 2024. Imagine the peloton whizzing through a 205 km stretch to Rimini, amid the Renaissance charm and the serene Italian countryside. This isn’t just a race; it’s a narrative of tradition and athleticism unfolding on the open Italian roads.
A ride from Cesenatico to Bologna (Stage 2) followed by a stretch from Piacenza to Turin (Stage 3), the riders experience the authentic Italian landscapes before they venture into France. These early stages in Italy offer a blend of challenging terrains and the iconic Italian backdrop, making the race a journey through one of the most beautiful and historically rich landscapes in the world.
The charm of Italy is sure to add a distinctive flavor to the 2024 Tour de France, making it a blend of cultural exploration and racing.
Gravel roads and climbs
Now, this is where things get gritty. Among the whispers is a rumor that the 2024 Tour de France will feature gravel roads, adding a layer of complexity and a dash of the unpredictable to the race.
Gravel roads have a unique way of leveling the playing field, testing not just the riders’ speed but their skill and adaptability. But that’s not all; the rumor extends to high climbs like the Col de Vars and Europe’s highest road, the Cime de la Bonette.
Imagine the peloton battling the rough terrain, the loose gravel crunching under the tires, the dust rising, all while surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the French countryside. The juxtaposition of the rugged gravel roads against the serene and sometimes unforgiving mountainous terrains makes this rumor one of the most exhilarating.
Double Alpe d’Huez ascent
This early venture into the Alps is not just a physical challenge but a mental game too. The Alps have always been a defining segment of the Tour de France, and an early entry adds a new twist, making the 2024 edition a potential thriller right from the get-go.
The Alps has some of the most iconic climbs in cycling history. Now, imagine the peloton diving into these challenging terrains earlier than usual. That’s rumors mills are hinting for a double Alpe d’Huez ascent. The last time the Tour de France ascended the Alpe d’Huez twice on the same day was in 2013, when Christophe Riblon won the stage.
Summit Finish at Isola 2000
The Isola 2000 ski resort will host the finish of Stage 19, as confirmed by the Mayor of Nice. This isn’t just another mountain stage; it’s a return to a significant location that last featured in the Tour de France back in 1993.
The climb to Isola 2000 is a journey back in time, reviving the classic routes that once defined this grand event. The high-altitude finish at this Alpine ski station promises a thrilling contest among the climbers and an opportunity for the GC contenders to showcase their mettle. This nod to the past, intertwined with the modern vigor of the current peloton, is bound to create moments that will be etched in the annals of Tour de France history.
Individual Time Trial (ITT) finale
The thrill of the Tour de France often crescendos in the final stages, and the 2024 edition might just have a spectacular finale waiting. Rumors suggest a 35km Individual Time Trial (ITT) from Monaco to Nice on the last day.
The ITT is not just a test of speed, but a stark examination of every rider’s tenacity and spirit after enduring grueling weeks of racing. And to have it on the last day? That’s a dramatic climax waiting to unfold. The glitzy streets of Monaco transitioning into the serene yet challenging terrains towards Nice is like a blend of glamour and grit. This stage can be a game-changer, where the Yellow Jersey could switch shoulders one last time.
Team Time Trial making a comeback
The beauty of the Tour de France lies in its variety, and the time trial stages are where precision, speed, and solitary endurance come into play. Among the whispers are mentions of a time trial, between Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges.
This isn’t merely a race against each other, but a race against the clock, where every second shaved off is a step closer to glory. The time trial stages blend meticulous strategy, aerodynamics, rider coordination, pacing, and the unyielding desire to push the limits.
In the serene wine region of Burgundy, amidst the vineyards, the time trial is like a rhythmic dance on pedals, a sight to behold and a test of team brilliance. It’s where the tour can witness a significant shuffle in the standings, making it an essential and exciting part of the race dynamics.
Final Mountain Stage to Col de la Couillole
The penultimate mountain (Stage 20) of the 2024 Tour de France, is set to be a mountain stage from Nice to Col de la Couillole. This stage isn’t just a climb; it’s a crescendo of all the efforts, strategies, and battles fought over the past weeks.
According to Climb Finder, the Col de la Couillole is 16km long with an average gradient of 7.3%. This is where the climbers will have one last shot at glory, where the General Classification could see a dramatic shuffle, and where Yellow Jersey might find its final bearer.
This wraps up the enthralling rumors surrounding the 2024 Tour de France, each holding a promise of making this edition a historic and unforgettable journey.
Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.
He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.