History is being made as the 2024 Tour de France for the first time ever -- as it makes its Grand Départ from Italy!
The 111th edition will hit the road in Florence starting Saturday, June 29 followed by a run to Rimini on the shores of the Adriatic.
The Italian leg continues with a race from Cesenatico to Bologna, and ends with a cross-country trek to Turin on July 1 before heading into France.
Also new in 2024? Due to the logiistics of the Paris Olympics, the race will end on the French Riviera rather than in Paris this year. Instead, a race through the glitzy streets of Monaco will be followed by a grand finale at Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais for the tour's ultimate victory lap on July 21.
In all, the traditional 21 stages usually covers over 3,600 kilometers (2,237 miles), with each leg of the race ranging from pleasantly flat to treacherously steep and mountainous, including an infamous muscle-burning climb through Mont Ventoux.
Coming off the mountain stretches also puts cyclists' descending skills to the test-- so be sure to watch for spills and chills (and dust flying) as the brakes are applied on the way down!
Meanwhile, keep it here for more updates as the complete states are mapped out and announced as race time draws near.
The amazing (bike) race: The infamous muscle-burning climb up Mount Ventoux.
2024 Tour de France on TV
In the U.S. streaming service NBC Peacock and the USA Network will be the official broadcasters throughout the race with additional television coverage from 'mothership' network NBC..
FloSports usually provides a live stream in Canada.
Across the pond, ITV4 airs live coverage in the UK from every stage of the tour.
Elsewhere in Europe, Eurosport covers the race from start to finish, while in Australia live coverage and next-day highlights are regularly featured on SBS.
Because the schedule changes little year by year, check out the tentative US TV times and chennels for each stage of the race and keep it here for the official TV schedule as it becomes available:
Maurice Garin was the winner
in the first race held in 1903.
The first Tour de France was arranged by French newspaperman Henri Desgrange as a publicity stunt for his paper, L'Auto in 1903. The race featured 60 riders covering more than a 1,000 miles. that proved highly popular among spectators along the route .The race was also a huge success for L'Auto whose circulation rose from 25,000 to 65,000 that year.
Except for two World Wars, the Tour de France has been held almost every year since.
While spectacular scandals have rocked the race of late, the Tour de France has been no stranger to poor sportsmanship over the years. In fact, during the early days rampant cheating was common, along with sporadic rioting among spectators who often favored one rider over another.
Today, almost 200 riders make up the 22 teams that participate in the world's biggest annual sporting event covering some 2,000 miles. Throughout the race's 21 stages, the strongest rider is protected by other members of the team through stretches of terrain that vary greatly from flat, to hilly, to extremely steep and mountainous.
Color-coded jerseys signify top racers during the Tour de France, including white for a young emerging star,
red polka dot for the best uphill biker, green for the fastest sprinter, and yellow for the overall leader.
Along the way, riders are rewarded with color-coded jerseys with special significance. The green jersey signifies who's the fastest sprinter. The white jersey goes to the youngest biker, usually an emerging star under 25. The red-and-white polka dot jersey is awarded to the "King of the Mountain" or best uphill climber.
Near the end of the race, the overall leader gets to wear the coveted yellow jersey and to ultimately claim victory -- and the €450,000 euro prize money -- as he crosses the finish line in Paris.
de France around the Web
the Web, get the complete picture of this year's annual Tour de France
with video presentations, photos, up-to-the-minute blog
reports, and more on Tour de France stats, records and history
Tour de France 2024 kicks off in Florence, Italy.
Tour de France 2024 - At the official site find the complete route map, news flashes
in real time, plus updated classifications, positions, gaps between
the riders, video and photos of the competition - in English and