2024 editions of Tour de France revealed, including stages in Belgium
The 2024 editions of the Tour de France were unveiled on Wednesday by organisers ASO. For the first time, the men's race will start in Italy. The Tour de France Femmes, meanwhile, will pass through Belgium with a stage finish in Liège and a start in Bastogne.
The 111th edition of the Tour de France, which runs from 29 June to 21 July 2024, will start in Italy for the first time. The organisers want to honour Italy's first overall winner, Ottavio Bottecchia, who won in 1924. Instead of the classic sprint on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, the Tour will end in Nice with a time trial for the first time since 1989.
With two time trials and hilly opening stages, this edition of the Tour seems tailor-made for Remco Evenepoel. The world time trial champion has never raced the Tour de France before, and the mythical race would be the perfect warm-up for the Olympic Games in Paris a month later.
Women pass through Belgium
The third edition of the Tour de France for women will start in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Monday 12 August and finish on Alpe d'Huez on Sunday 18 August. The Tour de France Femmes will pass through Belgium: the fourth stage takes the riders through the Ardennes, before arriving in Liège. The day after, on 15 August, they will depart from Bastogne.
"I really like the route for next year. I am especially happy with the first stages in the Netherlands and Belgium," said Lotte Kopecky after the unveiling. The reigning world road champion has fond memories of the Tour de France Femmes: Kopecky won the opening stage and finished second overall in 2023.
"I don't know yet if I'll be there. The Olympics are only every four years, the Tour every year."
Despite her success, her participation next year is still uncertain. Kopecky has her sights set on Olympic gold in 2024, and with both events taking place in August, the Tour's schedule could get in the way.
"I don't know yet if I'll be there. The Olympics are only every four years, the Tour every year," she explained. "I have to discuss everything with the team and the federation. But if I do take part, I would really like to win the stage in Liège."
Jonas Vingegaard, winner of the Tour de France 2023. © BELGA PHOTO PETE GODING