The Tour de France looks like it will be heading for Italy for its Grand Départ in 2024, with the governor of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy has all but confirmed.
At the beginning of June, La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab) reported that the Tour will begin in Florence, Italy in 2024, and this has been reiterated by comments from Alberto Cirio, governor of Piedmont in a report from Tutto Bici (opens in new tab).
“Piedmont will continue to host major events,” Cirio said. “After all I can tell you that the Tour de France will come over our roads.”
“In terms of visibility, the Tour de France is the biggest sporting event in the world. The 2024 edition will pass through Piemonte, with Turin and Pinerolo as important stage cities. I can’t say more at the moment,” he added.
According to La Gazzetta in June, the Tour will start on June 29 in 2024 in Piazzale Michelangelo in the historic centre of Florence, and Cirio’s comments reconfirm the news.
From there the race is expected to traverse the regions of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont.
When the Italian Grand Départ is confirmed, it will make for a strange year for the French Grand Tour, with it being the first time in its history that the race has finished outside of Paris and away from the Champs-Elysées. It has also never started in Italy, although that’s all set to change.
The 2024 edition is due to finish in Nice, due to the race’s organisers, ASO, believing it is impossible to have the finish in Paris, days before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, hence the move to Nice instead.
After the race has got underway in Florence, it’s expected that stage two will start in Cesenatico, where Marco Pantani comes from, before finishing in Bologna.
Stage three will then head from Modene through to Piacenza across the Apennines, making for a tough day in the hills.
Stage four will see the race set off from Pinerolo before crossing the border into French territory. Pinerolo is significant in the races’ history due to it being the site of a legendary breakaway involving Fausto Coppi in the 1949 edition.
With an interesting start and ending in prospect at the 2024 edition, it could make how the race pans out very different.
Tradition has it that the final stage is more of a victory procession for the winner, with the yellow jersey safe on the shoulders of whoever is leading the general classification.
However, with a finale away from Paris, it will remain to be seen whether the rule book will be well and truly be ripped up for the first time in history.
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