Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 200km hilly road stage from Cesenatico to Bologna.
Cesenatico has been chosen as the start town as a nod to Marco Pantani, who lived there and is buried there.
After two early climbs the race passes through Imola, famous for its motor racing circuit. The peloton then continues west for two more climbs before joining a circuit in Bologna.
The circuit is 18.5km, and tackled twice. It features a climb to San Luca. The final 9km of the circuit are downhill or flat.
Stage 2 is one for the puncheurs.
|Date||Sunday 30th June 2024|
|Climbs||Côte de Monticino
Côte de Gallisterna
Côte de Montecalvo
Côte de San Luca
Côte de San Luca
Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 2 (to be added later).
This is a map of the route of Stage 2, Tour de France 2024.
This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 2 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 2 Tour de France 2024.
|Caravan||Fast Schedule||Slow Schedule|
|Start Time (départ fictif)|
|Start Time (départ réel)|
|Finish Line (200km)|
This is a video of the route of Stage 2 Tour de France 2024.
These are highlights of Stage 1 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia. It was an individual time trial raced on a course very similar to the finishing circuit on Stage 2 of the Tour de France 2024. Primoz Roglic won that day.
Bologna has several nicknames. They include La Dotta (the learned one, because of its University, founded in 1088) and La Rossa (the red one, a reference to the red rooftops of the historic centre).
It's also called La Grassa, the fat one, due to its hospitality and delicious food.
Food specialities include Bolognese sauce for pasta, known locally as ragú. You might like to grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, from nearby Parma, onto your tagliatelle al ragú.
There's also mortadella di Bologna. Mortadella is pork traditionally ground with a pestle and mortar, with cubes of pig fat, pistachios and black pepper added.
The Emiilia-Romagna region is known for Lambrusco wine, a sparkling red that dates back to Roman times (the tradition of making it, that is, not the wines on sale today).
Pignoletto is the most representative wine of the Bolognese hills. Its origins also go back to Roman times, and Pliny the Elder mentioned it in his Naturalis Historia. It's a white wine that can be sparkling or still.
Much Pignoletto is made from Grechetto Gentile grapes. They tend to hang in tight clusters which look like pine cones, hence the name Pignoletto.
The stage starts in Cesenatico (départ fictif).
Cesenatico is a port town with a port canal, on the Adriatic coast of Italy and in the Emilia-Romagna region. It has 26,000 inhabitants.
It was founded in 1302 and was originally considered part of the inland city of Cesena. The port and canal were built in 1314, and the intention was that the canal should reach Cesena.
Cesenatico suffered great damage during World War II. It was liberated from fascism by New Zealand troops.
Post-war, Cesenatico has become a major tourist town. It was also after the war that the 118m high skyscraper was built.
Every year the final of the Italian Mathematics Olympiad, a competition fought out by the 300 of the best high school maths students in Italy, takes place in Cesenatico.
I calculate that that's a brilliant addition to the town's events, and I don't expect to divide opinion with that assertion. Ok, ok I'll stop now.
The Spazio Pantani is a museum managed by the Pantani family to keep the memory of Marco Pantani alive.
The Marco Pantani Nove Colli race is held every May, in the foothills of the Apennines.
There's a Marco Pantani statue in Cesenatico.
Marco Pantani was a racing cyclist from Cesenatico, who lived from 1970 to 2004.
He was called il Pirata (the Pirate), because of his bald head and bandana.
He was expelled from the 1999 Giro d'Italia because of his blood values - a haematocrit level of 52%, which is unnaturally high, almost certainly due to EPO.
He was a client of Francesco Conconi from 1993-98, and later took outlawed drugs supplied by Dr Fuentes (uncovered by Operacion Puerto).
In effect, all his race wins were powered by doping. Should the Tour de France be celebrating his career?
With those facts as background, he recorded very fast times up Mont Ventoux and Alpe d'Huez, and he won both the Giro and the Tour in 1998.
His last stage wins were in 2000, and he raced sporadically thereafter.
He was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in 2003 to deal with addictions. He died in 2004 in a hotel in Rimini, from cocaine poisoning.
Matt Rendell wrote a biography of Pantani.Buy Marco Pantani, by Matt Rendell
The peloton rolls out of Cesenatico heading north along the coast. The départ réel is at Cervia.
The race continues to Ravenna.
Ravenna is an ancient and historic city.
The population is only 159,000, which is about the same as Harrogate, but whereas the main attraction in the North Yorkshire town is buying an overpriced bun from a nice café, Ravenna has been the capital of the Western Roman Empire.
Ravenna was originally settled by the Umbri people around the 400s BC, then came under the control of the Roman Republic in 89BC.
In 49BC, Julius Caesar gathered his forces at Ravenna before crossing the Rubicon.
After his battle against Mark Antony in 31BC, Octavian built a military harbour called Classis at Ravenna.
In 402, the Western Roman Emperor Honorius moved his court from Milan to Ravenna. The last de facto Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed at Ravenna in 476AD.
Ravenna was then the capital of the Barbarian King of Italy Odoacer, then Ostrogoth King Theodoric from 493; and from 540 it was the capital of Byzantine Italy.
Ravenna then came under the control of the Pope, and remained part of the Papal States until it joined the new Kingdom of Italy (1861).
Eight buildings in Ravenna comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 'the Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna'.
One of these buildings is the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. It dates from 425-450AD.
Galla Placida's son Valentinian III becaise Emperor in 425 at 6 years old, and she ruled as Regent for him for 12 years.
She died in 450, but despite the Ravenna building being called her mausoleum, she was in fact buried in Rome.
Now the riders head across the flatlands of the Pianura Padana (Padana Plain, or Po Valley).
This area is flat today, but in fact there are buried ancient canyons underneath which have been covered in sediment.
The lower plain is called La Bassa. A spring line at the edge of the plain provides water and makes La Bassa suitable for agriculture.
The Pianura Padana is the largest unbroken plain in southern Europe, and is home to 17 million people. They suffer poor air quality, with satellite images showing high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.
If you want to get into the right mood for the Pianura Padana, it's best to listen to La Fisarmonica di Stradella.
Stradella is known for making accordions, and Paolo Conte sings about driving his sleeping girlfriend through the fog of the Padana Plain after a Sunday evening dance, in an atmospheric and accordion-filled song.
The race goes through Russi on the way to Faenza, on the edge of the plain and by the foothills of the Apennines.
After Faenza, the riders follow the Lamone river and the Canal Grande to Brisighella. Then they tackle the first climb, the Côte de Monticino.
The Côte de Monticino is a climb up past the Monticino Sanctuary. It is 2km at an average gradient of 7.5%, to a height of 250m.
On the way up there's an old gypsum quarry, and two wooded areas with caves.
The descent is past vineyards to Riolo Terme.
Then there's another climb, this time of the Côte de Gallisterna.
The climb of the Côte de Gallisterna is short but steep - 1.2km at an average 12.8%, to a height of 257m.
It takes the riders from the river Senio at Riolo Terme up the Via Caduti di Toranello to the Monte de Ballo.
The descent is to Imola.
From Imola, it's a straight and flat run on the edge of the Pianura Padana to Castel San Pietro Terme.
The route continues to be straight and flat on the way to Ozzano dell'Emilia. Soon after, the parcours is south via the Gessi Bolognesi Calanchi dell'Abbadessa to Botteghino di Zocca.
The next climb comes after the village of Botteghino di Zocca.
The climb out of Botteghino di Zocca is 1.9km at an average 6.8%, to a height of 242m.
The riders continue on the Via Anna Donini down to the outskirts of Pianoro on the Torrente Savena. At Rastignano they leave the valley. This is the next climb, to Montecalvo.
The Côte de Montecalvo is 2.7km at an average 7.7%, to a height of 309m. Barbotto is the hamlet before the top of Monte Spelano.
Now the race descends to Bologna, and crosses the finish line at Piazza Maggiore for the first time.
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The circuit is 18.5km, raced anti-clockwise.
Leaving the city, the riders head up the Via di San Luca to the sanctuary or chapel at Madonna di San Luca (main photo at the top of the page).
The striking feature on the way up to the sanctuary is the Portico di San Luca, a staircase next to the road, inside a colonnade.
The Côte de San Luca is 1.9km at an average 10.6%, to a height of 265m.
There's a bit more uphill to Montalbano, then a descent back to the centre of Bologna.
The same circuit once again brings the riders to the finish line for the final time.
The finishing circuit is very similar to the route of the ITT on Stage 1 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia. Primoz Roglic won that day.
Maybe he will win here again, assuming he is taking part in the Tour de France.
Who else could win? Of the GC favourites, it could be Tadej Pogacar. Of the puncheurs, it could be Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe or Mads Pedersen.
Who do you think will win Stage 2 of the 2024 Tour de France in Bologna?
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