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2024 Tour de France, Tour de France Femmes routes unveiled with historic firsts

The routes for the 2024 Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes were unveiled Wednesday with historic firsts for both cycling races.

Due to the Paris Olympics starting July 26, the men’s Tour starts one week earlier than usual (in Florence, Italy this year) and ends in Nice, as previously announced. It’s the first time the Tour ends with a time trial since 1989.

Typically, the Tour winner has been decided in the penultimate stage with the last day a largely ceremonial ride into Paris. This time, the yellow jersey competition could come down to the final Sunday.

It’s the first time that the Tour will not finish in the French capital. The first Tour was in 1903.

The Tour has four summit finishes along with the two time trials, with more than 52,000 meters of vertical gain over the 21 stages.

On the 19th stage, the riders climb Cime de la Bonnette, reaching an elevation of 2,802 meters (1.75 miles), the highest-altitude summit in modern Tour history. It was last on the route in 2008.

The eight-stage Tour de France Femmes begins in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Aug. 12, then visits Belgium and crosses into France in the fifth stage before finishing the final day with an ascent of Alpe d’Huez.

It will be the first time the Tour de France Femmes ascends that famous climb in its three-year history.

Last July, Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard repeated as Tour de France champion.

Sepp Kuss then won the Vuelta a España in September, becoming the first American man to win a Grand Tour in a decade. Kuss, 29, is teammates with Vingegaard on Jumbo-Visma. In the past four Tours de France, Kuss served as a primary mountain domestique for Vingegaard and for Primož Roglič.

With the Slovenian Roglič changing teams for next year, Kuss could be the team leader for future Grand Tours (Tour, Vuelta, Giro d’Italia). But Vingegaard is expected to retain that role for next year’s Tour de France, where he can bid to join a select group to win three consecutive titles, most recently, Chris Froome, Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx.

Dutchwoman Demi Vollering won this year’s Tour de France Femmes for her first major stage race title.

The Tour de France Femmes has been contested twice. The top American finish was Veronica Ewers’ ninth in the first edition in 2022.

This will be the first Tour de France Femmes to be held in an Olympic year. It starts the day after the Closing Ceremony and eight days after the 98-mile Olympic road race.