In 2024, the Tour de France will likely not finish on Paris’ Champs-Élysées for the first time in half a century, the finale of the race set to be completed outside of the French capital city for the first time in history.
Since 1975, the sight of the Arc de Triomphe to end the French Grand Tour has become tradition, and even before that Paris has always featured as the final finish line of the three-week race.
But in two years’ time there will be a calendar clash. The arrival of the Olympic Games in Paris necessitates a change to the normal running of things, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Paris Games will start on July 26, which will shift the Tour back to a Saturday June 29 – Sunday July 21 slot.
Despite that five-day intervening period, the logistical and safety headache means these two huge sporting events will be kept geographically apart, with the Tour’s final stage set to relocate to Nice, according to the Italian newspaper.
This won’t be the biggest break in tradition at the Tour in 2024, however, as the race is also set to start from Italy for the first time in history.
€10 million of public and private money has been raised between the regions of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont to bring the French Grand Tour across the border. From the day the proposition was first brought to race organisers ASO, it has asked for the race start in the picturesque city of Florence.
Stage 1 will supposedly set off from the capital of Tuscany, passing through the Piazza del Comune in Faenza before arriving along the Romagna Riviera. Stage 2 begins from Marco Pantani country in Cesenatico and finishes in Bologna before a third day from Modena to Piacenza through the Apennines.
There will be no rest day following three days of racing abroad, as often follows for foreign Grand Départs, as the peloton sets off from Pinerolo and crosses into French territory in time for the finish line.
An Italian Grand Départ would be the third consecutive non-French start to the Tour, following on from Copenhagen in 2022 and the Basque Country in 2023. This has never happened before in the history of the race and is partly due to the delayed Copenhagen Grand Départ, which was moved back a year from 2021 after football took precedence when the pandemic-disrupted 2020 European Championships was also moved to the summer of 2021.
When the Tour returns to Paris in 2025, which it likely will, it will be a brand new Champs-Élysées that greets the peloton with France’s capital city set to revamp the famed avenue for the Olympic Games with a tree-planting project and an increase in pedestrian areas.