2024 Tour de France to end with final day time trial in Nice

For the first time, the race will finish far from Paris, and in a competitive finalé for the first time in 35 years

Jonas Vingegaard Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2024 Tour de France will end in a final day time trial in Nice, the race's organisers announced on Thursday.

For the first time in the race's 121-year history, the Tour will conclude far from Paris, due to the Olympic Games being held in Paris the same summer. It will also be the first time since 1989, 35 years, that the final day will be a competitive race.

Every edition since that epic day when Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon in a final day time trial, the race has ended in a procession and then a sprint; for 2024, with the Tour finishing away from Paris, a time trial will shake things up.

Since 1906, every Tour has also finished definitively in Paris, with the first three finishing close to the French capital. In modern times, since 1975, this finish has taken place on the Champs-Élysées, with the iconic shot of the peloton finishing their 21st stage close to the Arc du Triomphe.

Nice is no stranger to the Tour, having hosted a start or finish of a stage on 71 different occasions, including a Grand Départ in both 1981 and 2020. It is also the host of the final stage of Paris-Nice, which has often been an individual time trial.

From 1967 until 1997 the final day of the 'Race to the Sun' was a time trial, more often than not up the Col d'Eze, including the seven in a row won by Sean Kelly in the 1980s.

The press release from ASO, the Tour's organisers, state: "This new finish, conditioned by the logistical imperatives that will already block the Champs-Elysées just a few days before the start of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, is accompanied by a significant sporting challenge as the last stage will be an individual time trial. The sporting qualities of the riders likely to win mean that the Tour could remain undecided until the last few kilometres."

"It is said that records are made to be broken, and the context of a battle of mere seconds takes on a new dimension when looking at the final weekend in general," it continued. 

"The riders will be on the region's roads on Saturday, 20 July. They are all aware that the Nice backcountry lends itself to unbridled, high-intensity rides, almost systematically on the final stage of Paris-Nice. So, there could be opportunities just until the very end to rattle the Yellow Jersey."

In 2020, the Tour was decided in the final competitive stage of the race, as Tadej Pogačar took time on Primož Roglič in the stage 20 time trial, however there was one more day after that.

Final day time trials have been more common in the other Grand Tours, especially the Giro d'Italia, where the race win was decided on the final day in 2020 by Tao Geoghegan Hart, and in 2017 by Tom Dumoulin.

ASO will hope that the last day time trial will introduce drama, as it did in 1989. Fignon went into the final stage with a 50 second lead over LeMond, but he saw his advantage whittled down and ultimately overhauled by the American in the closing kilometres of the TT.

LeMond’s eight-second victory remains the closest GC finish in the Tour de France’s history.

The 2024 race also looks like it will be heading for Italy for its Grand Départ, the governor of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy all but confirmed last week.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.