The Tour de France looks set to head to Italy for its grand exit in 2024, with the governor of the Piedmont region in northern Italy having almost confirmed it.
Begining of June, La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in a new tab) reported that the Tour will begin in Florence, Italy in 2024, and this has been reiterated by Alberto Cirio, Governor of Piedmont in a report from Bike Tutorial (opens in a new tab).
“Piedmont will continue to host important events,” Cirio said. “After all, I can tell you that the Tour de France will pass through 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, 2024 in Piazzale Michelangelo in the historic center 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 Start is confirmed, it will be a strange year for the Grand Tour de France, as it will be the first time in its history that the race has finished outside of Paris and away from the Champs-Elysees. It has never started in Italy either, although all that is set to change.
The 2024 edition must finish in Nice, because the race organizers, ASO, believe that it is impossible to finish in Paris, days before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, so they have moved to Nice.
After the race has started in Florence, the second stage is expected to start in Cesenatico, where Marco Pantani hails from, before finishing in Bologna.
The third stage will then head from Modena to Piacenza via the Apennines, making for a tough day in the hills.
In the fourth stage, the race will start from Pinerolo before crossing the border into French territory. Pinerolo is important in racing history for being the scene of a legendary breakaway involving Fausto Coppi in the 1949 edition.
With an interesting start and finish in the offing in the 2024 edition, it could see the race play out very differently.
Tradition has it that the final stage is more of a victory parade for the winner, with the yellow jersey safely on the shoulders of whoever leads the general classification.
With an ending outside of Paris, however, it will remain to be seen if the rule book will be right and it will actually break for the first time ever.