Stage 1 Tour de France 2024

Stage 21 | Stage 1 | Stage 2

View of Florence
Florence, by Amada44, Licence CC BY 3.0

Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 206km hilly road race.

It starts in Florence, birthplace of Gino Bartali, and finishes in Rimini on the Adriatic coast.

In between, there's more than 3,600m of climbing over the Apennines. It's unusual to have that much height gain in a first Tour de France stage. The final categorised climb is in San Marino, 25km before the finish line.

Given the difficulty of the stage, the first yellow jersey may go to a GC contender.

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Video Highlights and Blog

These are video highlights of Stage 1 Tour de France 2024.


This is the Stage 1 blog/race report.

Race Details | Poll | Map & Profile | Timings | Videos | Food & Drink | Route Notes | Favourites

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Race Details

Race details - Stage 1, Tour de France 2024
Date Saturday 29th June 2024
Stage classification Hilly
Distance 206km
Intermediate sprint Santa Sofia
Climbs Col de Valico Tre Faggi (Cat. 2)
Côte des Forche (Cat. 3)
Côte de Carnaio (Cat. 3)
Côte de Barbotto (Cat. 2)
Côte de San Leo (Cat. 2)
Côte de Montemaggio (Cat. 3)
Côte de Saint-Marino (Cat. 3)
Total climbing 3,600m

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Poll

Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 1.


Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Map & Stage Profile

This is a map of the route of Stage 1, Tour de France 2024.

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024 route map
Stage 1 Tour de France 2024 route map, ©Tour de France/ASO

This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 1 of the 2024 Tour de France.


Note: this routemap was produced a long time in advance of the race, and could be subject to changes.

This is the profile of Stage 1 Tour de France 2024.

Profile of Stage 1 Tour de France 2024
Profile of Stage 1 Tour de France 2024, © ASO/Tour de France

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Timings

Timings - Stage 1, Tour de France 2024

Caravan Fast Schedule Slow Schedule
Start Time (départ fictif) 1010
1200
1200
Start Time (départ réel) 1040
1240
1240
Intermediate Sprint 1257
1444
1457
San Marino Climb 1524
1657
1724
Finish Line (206km) 1605
1734
1805

Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Videos

This is a video of the route.



In this video, Philippe Gilbert takes a look at the second half of the Stage 1 parcours, including the Barbotto, San Leo, Montemaggio and San Marino climbs.



This is a short film about Gino Bartali's career and activities during World War II.



Inspired by Bartali's era, I believe that racing cyclists should once again be asked to carry inner tubes on their shoulders, and put a lot of Brylcreem in their hair.

It would give the sport of cycling extra pizzazz, not to mention increased panache.

Food and Drink to Accompany Stage 1 Tour de France 2024

Chianti Classico

One speciality in Florence is tagliatelle funghi porcini et tartufo - tagliatelle pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffles.

Another is ribollita, meaning 'reheated'. It is a soup made with stale bread, tomatoes, beans and other seasonal vegetables. There's a similar dish called pappa al pomodoro.

To accompany the stage, you should consider drinking Chianti wine - from the Monti Chianti between Florence and Siena.

Chianti wine has been produced since the 1200s, and the area growing the (Sangiovese) grapes was officially designated by Tuscan Grand Duke Cosimo III in 1716.

Chianti Classico is defined by its aromas of wild berries, earthiness, spices and tannins.

It goes particularly well with pappa al pomodoro.

Buy a bottle of Chianti on Amazon (affiliate link).


Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: Route Notes

The stage starts in Florence (départ fictif).

Florence

Basilica Santa Croce, Florence
Florence, by Amada44, Licence CC BY 3.0

Florence, or Firenze, is the capital of the Tuscany region. It has 360,000 inhabitants.

The origin of the name of the city is uncertain. One theory is that a soldier called Florio was killed here, and he gave his name to the place. Another is that the city's name is related to the Latin word for flowers, and refers to flowering plants which grew here.

History

Florence originated as a colony for veteran Roman soldiers, established in 59BC.

After the disruptions of the Barbarian invasions, it was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the March of Tuscany.

It was a centre of trade and finance in the Middle Ages. The Florentines invented double-entry bookkeeping, which will be exciting to all you accountancy fans out there. The Florentine gold florin financed the development of industry all over Europe.

Florentine bankers provided capital to the Pope, including for the construction of their provisional capital in Avignon.

The Italian banking family, the Medici, ruled the Republic of Florence for periods from the 1400s onwards. Two Medicis became Pope, and Catherine de Medici married Henri II of France, then became Regent of France after his death.

From 1569 to 1737, the Medicis were Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

Florence is usually thought of as the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Famous writers from Florence include Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli and Guicciardini. As a result of their cultural influence, the Florentine dialect became the basis of standard Italian, and the national literary language.

Florence was the capital of the early Kingdom of Italy (1865-71), between the first capital, Turin, and the current capital, Rome.

Sights

Ponte Vecchio, Florence
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, by Greg_FOT, Licence CC BY 2.0

The economy of Florence is founded on tourism. The centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

At the heart of this is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, or Il Duomo, built by Filippo Brunelleschi with the largest brick-and-mortar dome in the world.

The Ponte Vecchio was built in the 1300s, and features shops on the edges of the bridge. It links the Uffizi to the Medici residence, the Palazzo Pitti. It was the only Florentine bridge not blown up by the Germans in World War II.

The Uffizi is Florence's most famous art gallery. The building (uffizi = offices) was used as government offices for centuries. The displays are based on the Medicis' own art collection.

The Galleria dell'Accademia houses a Michelangelo collection, including his famous statue of David.

A bronze cast of Michelangelo's David stands at Piazzale Michelangelo, a square designed by Giuseppe Poggi and built in 1869. It is in Oltrarno, on the south bank of the river Arno, and it gives a panoramic view over the city.

The Palazzo Pitti, in the Boboli Gardens, is a big museum with more of the Medicis' collection, and other Renaissance works.

Florence and Bike Racing

Florence has hosted the Giro d'Italia 34 times.

French races have rarely visited the Tuscan city - just Paris-Nice in 1959 and the Tour de l'Avenir in 1987.


Gino Bartali

Gino Bartali
Gino Bartali, public domain image

Gino Bartali (1914-2000) was a racing cyclist from Florence.

Bartali worked in a bicycle shop from age 13, and started racing at the same time. He turned professional in 1935 aged 21.

Before World War II, he won the Giro d'Italia in 1936 and 1937 and the Tour de France in 1938. He had been leading the 1937 Tour de France, but fell into a river and hurt himself, eventually withdrawing from the race.

His climbing style was to stay in the saddle and make use of his derailleur gears.

His main rival was Fausto Coppi, and the two men were on the same team from 1940. Initially, Coppi was supposed to be Bartali's helper. Bartali suspected Coppi of taking drugs.

During World War II, Bartali used his freedom to go on training rides with the real objective of helping Jews, for example by collecting photos of them for forged documents.

'Some medals are made to hang on the soul, not the jacket', he said.

Post-war, he won the 1946 Giro and the 1948 Tour.

During the 1950 Tour de France, Bartali had a coming together with Jean Robic, and both fell.

Bartali believed that a knife-wielding madman from among the spectators punched and threatened him. The other version of the story is that a chap who had been making a sandwich came over to help Bartali back onto his bike, without first putting the sandwich knife down.

As a result of the incident, the Italian teams were withdrawn from the race.


The peloton heads east out of Florence to San Jacopo al Girone, on the Arno river. The départ réel is just after San Jacopo, on the Via Aretina.

The first 30km or so are flat. The riders follow the Arno upstream to its confluence with the Sieve at Pontassieve.

Pontassieve, Rufina, Dicomano and San Godenzo

Pontassieve
Pontassieve, by Sirleonidas, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Pontassieve became an industrial centre after the construction of a Florence-Rome railway in 1859, which passed through the town. Unfortunately, Pontassieve's position at a railway junction led to it being bombed by the Allies in World War II.

Today, glass, pottery and leather are made in Pontassieve. The Fiasco - the bulbous glass bottle wrapped in straw, that is traditionally used for Chianti wine - was first produced industrially in Pontassieve.

Fiasco of red wine
Fiasco of red wine, by giulio nepi, Licence CC BY 2.0

From Pontassieve, the riders shadow the river Sieve to Rufina, famous for its Chianti Rufina wine, and Dicomano.

Dicoman
Dicomano, by Mongolo 1984, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Dicomano has some interesting Etruscan remains from the C3rd BC.

From Dicomano, Stage 1 heads up the Torrente San Gondenza to the village of San Godenzo.

San Godenzo
San Godenzo, by LigaDue, Licence CC BY 3.0

San Godenzo is overlooked by several peaks, the highest of which is Monte Falterona (1,654m) to the south east. These summits are part of the Appenines, which form the spine of Italy.

It is named after San Gaudenzio, a hermit who lived in these mountains in the 500s. A Benedictine monastery founded in the 1000s was named after him, and the village grew up around the monastery.

Chestnuts are a local speciality.

It's around San Godenzo that the first categorised climb begins.

Col de Valico Tre Faggi (Category 2)

The first categorised climb is the Col de Valico Tre Faggi. It's 12.5km at an average 5.1%. The summit is at 930m, and comes after 49.7km raced.

Around here, the race enters the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna National Park. It covers two sides of a ridge that divides Tuscany from Romagna.

Among the wildlife that lives in the National Park are wild boar, pine martens and Apennine wolves.

Apennine wolf
Apennine wolf, by Clame reporter, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

From the col, there's a long descent, initially following the Fosso del Forcone, then later the Rabbi river.

The race reaches Premilcuore.

Premilcuore

Premilcuore
Premilcuore, by Sailko, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Premilcuore is a hill town in the Apennine mountains. It has a fortress, the Rocca di Premilcuore, and a Medieval old town.

After following the Fiume Rabbi further downstream to Strada San Zeno, the next climb on Stage 1 looms - Côte des Forche.

Côte des Forche (Category 3)

The next climb is of the Monte delle Forche, called the Côte des Forche by the Tour de France organisers.

It's 2.5km at an average 6.2%, to a height of 430m, reached after 78km raced.

The descent is to Galeata.

Galeata
Galeata, public domain image

In the Middle Ages, Galeata was dependent the powerful Abbey of Sant'Ellero, which had land, an army and fortresses in this area. The Abbey is 3km outside the town.

Intermediate Sprint at Santa Sofia

Santa-Sofia
Santa Sofia, by Sailko, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

From Galeata, Stage 1 heads down the Bidente river to Santa Sofia. The intermediate sprint is at Santa Sofia, after 86.6km raced.

Santa Sofia has a contemporary art gallery and an open-air sculpture park.

Then the next climb begins, the Côte de Carnaio.


Côte de Carnaio (Category 3)

Spinello
Spinello di Santa Sofia, public domain image

The Côte de Carnaio climb is towards the Poggio Carnaio, passing close to the village of Spinello on the way up. It's 10.5km at an average 4.6%, reaching a height of 760m after 98.3km raced.

Next there's a long descent via San Piero in Bagno and along the Fiume Savio to the Lago di Quarto.

Lago di Quarto
Lago di Quarto, by Andrea.andreani, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The race route continues downhill to Sarsina.

Sarsina
Sarsina, by Sailko, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

Sarsina is an ancient town, inhabited by the Umbri people well before it became part of the Roman Empire.

The Roman playwright Plautus (254-184BC) was from Sarsina. He is regarded as one of the great dramatists of Latin literature, and is said to have influenced Shakespeare and Molière.

Beyond Sarsina are Romagnano, Monte Castello and Mercato Saraceno. Here, the peloton must brace itself for the next climb, the Côte de Barbotto.

Côte de Barbotto (Category 2)

The next climb is the Côte de Barbotto. Barbotto is the hamlet before the top of Monte Spelano.

The climb is 5.8km at an average 7.6%, to a height of 584m after 135.6km raced.

How to Write a Kindle Ebook

How to Write a Kindle Ebook
How to Write a Kindle Ebook

How to Write a Kindle Ebook is a step by step guide to writing and publishing an ebook on Amazon.

It takes you through the process of writing and formatting it using Microsoft Word, then uploading it to Kindle Direct Publishing and selling it on Amazon.

There's advice and guidance at every stage, with examples including screenshots, and tips on how to overcome practical problems you're likely to encounter.

How to Write a Kindle Ebook will be your reliable and trusted companion as you write and publish your own book.

'I find this a really helpful and informative guide to e-book writing and recommend to others' - reviewer on Amazon.

Buy the ebook or the paperback on Amazon.


Now Stage 1 descends via Sogliano al Rubicone, source of the famous Rubicon river. It continues to Perticara, where there was a very large sulphur mine - the largest mine in Europe - from 1917 to 1964.

Next on the route is Novafeltria, where the riders cross the Marecchia river and get ready to start the next climb, Côte de San Leo.

Côte de San Leo (Category 2)

San Leo
San Leo, by Dounamano, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The climb is up past the village of San Leo - one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (i Borghi più belli d'Italia).

The ascent is called the Côte de San Leo. It is 4.6km at 7.7% to a height of 572m after 157.3km raced.

There's also a fort, built in the 1400s, in a dramatic clifftop location at San Leo.

San Leo
Fort at San Leo, by Gianni Careddu, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

A descent follows, but the climbs come thick and fast now. The next one is the Côte de Montemaggio.

Côte de Montemaggio (Category 3)

The Côte de Montemaggio is 4.2km at an average 6.6%, to a height of 508m after 167.1km raced. At the top, the riders are very close to the border with San Marino.

They pass into San Marino and through Chiesanuova, then down to the Rio San Marino.

San Marino

San Marino
San Marino, by Max_Ryazanov, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

San Marino, or the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is the fifth smallest country in the world.

It is an enclave, surrounded by Italy. The other two countries which are enclosed by another country are Vatican City and Lesotho.

The capital, the City of San Marino, is on top of Monte Titano. San Marino was a stonemason from the Croation island of Rab who, in late Roman times, founded a monastic community here.

San Marino has remained independent over the centuries. It gave refuge to Garibaldi when he needed it, and at the time of Italian unification, Garibaldi allowed San Marino to keep its independence.

During World War II, San Marino was neutral.

San Marino elects two heads of state every six months. They are called Captains Regent, and they serve together with equal powers.

The economy of San Marino is based on finance, industry, services, retail and tourism. Tax rates are low.

San Marino has the world's third highest rate of car ownership, with more vehicles than people. In this dubious ranking, it trails Gibraltar and Guernsey.

On the other hand, San Marino does have a cable car from Borgo Maggiore up to the City of San Marino.


Côte de Saint-Marino (Category 3)

San Marino Citta
Città di San Marino, by trolvag, Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The next climb is up to the town of San Marino (Città di San Marino), and the Tour de France calls it the Côte de San Marino.

It's 7.1km at an average 4.8%, to a height of 648m after 179.7km raced.

Then it's downhill on the Via Venticinque Marzo (25th March) under the cable car to Borgo Maggiore; and on to Domagnano and Serravalle.

San Marino Funivia
Funivia at San Marino, by NikonZ7II, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The Olympic Stadium is in Serravalle; this is where San Marino play football.

Soon after, the race leaves San Marino.

The Finish at Rimini

Beach at Rimini
Rimini, by Sarah Hoa, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

After Serravalle, the road flattens out and heads for the Adriatic coast at Rimini.

Via Gabrielle Chiabrera takes the riders to the seaside. There's a left turn onto the seafront road, Lungomore Giuseppe di Vittorio.

The finish line is on Rimini's beach road near its junction with Via Roma.

Rimini

Aerial view of Rimini
Rimini, public domain image

Rimini is a sprawling beach resort on the Adriatic Sea.

A Roman colony called Ariminum was founded here in 268BC. The Via Flaminia ended here, at the Arch of Augustus.

Arch of Augustus at Rimini
Arch of Augustus, Rimini, by Carole Raddato, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Roman monuments include the Ponte di Tiberio and a 12,000-seater amphitheatre.

Ponte di Tiberio at Rimini
Ponte di Tiberio, Rimini, by Camouflajj, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

The first bathing establishment opened in 1843, along with a Kursaal. The sandy beaches of Rimini still attract European tourists today.

There is also a large venue for conferences and trade fairs, called Rimini Fiera.

The Fellini Museum is dedicated to the film director from Rimini, Federico Fellini.

Italia in Miniatura is a Rimini theme park with models of Italian monuments and cities.


Stage 1 Tour de France 2024: the Favourites

Wout van Aert
Wout van Aert, by filip bossuyt, Licence CC BY 2.0

Wout van Aert might do well on this kind of stage. Confirmed in the Visa Lease-a-Bike Tour team - tick. Long, hilly parcours to knock out the pure sprinters - tick. Flat finish that requires a turn of speed - tick.

If not, who else could take the win?

Classics riders who do well in Spring could be suited to Stage 1. That might include Mathieu van der Poel and Mads Pedersen.

Stephen Williams (Israel Premier Tech) won Flèche Wallonne in April. That's a long and hilly race like this one. I suppose the difference is that the Flèche Wallonne finish is uphill, and this one is a flat sprint.

Stephen Williams
Stephen Williams, by Kakoula10, Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

If only climbers and GC contenders are left, Remco Evenepoel might fancy his chances, but fast-finishing Tadej Pogacar could be favourite.

Who do you think will win Stage 1 of the 2024 Tour de France in Rimini?




Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite

Fire Stick Lite

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite, £34.99 at the time of writing (affiliate link).

As an Amazon Associate, I can theoretically earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

HedgehogCycling Newsletter

* indicates required

Hedgehog Cycling Guides

Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales
Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

New in 2023, Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales is available in colour paperback.

Find out more about Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales or buy a copy.

Bike Rides In and Around York front cover
Bike Rides In and Around York

Bike Rides In and Around York features a historical city tour, plus family rides, road rides, and mountain bike rides.

Find out more about Bike Rides In and Around York or buy a copy.

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale is a book of family, mountain and road bike rides.

Find out more about Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale or buy a copy.

Mountain Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales
Mountain Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

Find out more about Mountain Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales.

Buy Mountain Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales at £8 + P&P.

Garmin Edge Explore

Garmin Edge Explore

Garmin Edge Explore, £197.99 at the time of writing.

Garmin Edge Explore on Amazon (affiliate link).


Faster, by Michael Hutchinson

Faster, by Michael Hutchinson

Faster by Michael Hutchinson on Amazon (affiliate link).


Widget is loading comments...