Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2024 is a 229km flat road stage from Piacenza to Turin.
It features a visit to Tortona, which was home to Il Campionissimo Fausto Coppi.
The three categorised climbs are not significant enough to give the sprinters any problems.
The stage is likely to finish in a bunch sprint on Corso Massimo d'Azeglio, next to the Parco del Valentino in Turin.
|Date||Monday 1st July 2024|
|Climbs||Côte de Tortone Fausto Coppi
Côte de Barbaresco
Côte de Sommariva Perno
Vote for one of the main contenders to win Stage 3 (to be added later).
This is a map of the route of Stage 3, Tour de France 2024.
This is a zoom-able map of the route of Stage 3 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 3 Tour de France 2024.
|Caravan||Fast Schedule||Slow Schedule|
|Start Time (départ fictif)|
|Start Time (départ réel)|
|Finish Line (229km)|
This is a video of the route of Stage 3 Tour de France 2024.
This is a short video in which Fausto Coppi's former teammate Raphaël Geminiani remembers il Campionissimo.
There are plenty of specialities local to Turin, many of the dating back to the time when it was part of the Duchy of Savoie (pre-1860).
Tomini al Verde is grilled or baked Tomino cheese served on a bagnèt vert made up of anchovies, parsley, garlic, oil and wine vinegar.
Agnolotti al sugo d'arrosto is pasta stuffed with meat and
served in a meat broth. Alternatively the pasta can be accompanied
by a ragù sauce, or by butter, sage and Parmigiano.
Vermouth is an aperitif that has been drunk in Turin since the 1700s. It is wine with brandy, infused with herbs, spices and botanicals, and sweetened.
The stage starts in Piacenza (départ fictif).
Piacenza is the capital of Piacenza Province, within the Emilia Romagna region. It has a population of 102,000.
It's at the confluence of the Trebbia, which runs down from the Apennine mountains to the south, and the Po.
The name Piacenza stems from the verb piacere, to please, and means pleasant place.
Piacenza and Cremona were founded as Roman colonies in May 218BC, with 6,000 Roman citizens each. They initially came under pressure from the Gauls who lived in the Po valley at the time. In 200BC, the Gauls sacked the city and sold the colonists into slavery.
The Patron Saint of Piacenza is Saint Antoninus, who was a Roman soldier and Christian martyr.
Piacenza has a varied history. It was part of the Duchy of Milan in the 1500s, then a Papal State.
Napoléon annexed it in 1802 and made local men fight in the French army. Following the defeat of Bonaparte, Piacenza was part of Austria, and in 1860 it joined the newly-formed Kingdom of Italy.
The Palazzo Communale in Piazza Cavalli is one of the finest buildings in Piacenza.
It's also known as the Palazzo del Governatore and the Palazzo Gotico.
The square, Piazza Cavalli, gets its name from two equestrian statues.
Some Piacenza inhabitants speak in Piacentino, a variety of the Emilian-Romagnol language - a member of a different Romance sub-family to Standard Italian.
Seasoned and salted pork products are specialities of Piacenza, like pancetta. Mostarda di frutta is preserved fruits in a sugary syrup flavoured with mustard.
The hills around Piacenza are planted with vines that produce Colli Piacenza wines.
The peloton rolls out of Piacenza heading west. The départ réel is where they cross the Trebbia river at Ponte Trebbia.
The race continues west to Castel San Giovanni.
It goes on to Stradella, a town of 11,000 people.
Stradella was once an important centre for the production of accordions, and has an Accordian Museum. It is named after well-known local accordian builder Mariano Dallapé, who began his work in 1871.
This is another opportunity to listen to La Fisarmonica di Stradella by Paolo Conte.
He sings about driving through the fog of the Pianura Padana with his companion who isn't talking to him because as usual she has fallen asleep as soon as they set off back from the Sunday evening dance.
The grey of the evening is only broken up by a red traffic light. In the centre of Stradella, where all the accordians of the Pianura Padana were born, Conte hears the sweet sound of an accordian and notices how beautiful his sleeping girlfriend is.
Brilliant! If he ever learns to sing in tune, it'll be even better.
This is the edge of the Pianura Padana (Padana Plain, or Po Valley).
The Pianura Padana, or Po Valley, is 650km wide (east-west). It lies between the Alps to the north and the Apennines to the south.
This area is flat today, but in fact there are ancient canyons underneath which have been buried 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. Settlements are concentrated at the edge of the plain where the springs are.
Some of the Po Valley was a swamp in the Middle Ages, but it was then drained and turned back to agriculture.
The Pianura Padana is the largest unbroken plain in southern Europe, and is home to 17 million people - one third of Italy's total population.
They suffer poor air quality, with satellite images showing high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide. The pollution is produced by nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilisers, by emissions from manure, and by motor vehicles.
The plain is also known for fog in Winter - as Paolo Conte says, as foggy as a glass of pastis and water.
The Po is harnessed for the production of hydroelectricity.
The race goes through Casteggio and Voghera.
According to Wikipedia, the 'Voghera housewife' is a term used in political discourse to reference an average lower middle class person who is not very well-educated but works hard and raises a family.
It's quite a significant town, with a population of 39,000. It stands on the river Staffora.
It was made a colony by the Emperor Augustus, but after being destroyed by the Rugii tribe in the 1st century AD it disappeared from history until the 10th century.
It was heavily bombed by the Allies in World War II because of its strategic position on transport routes.
The Cathedral dates from the 11th century, but was remodelled in Baroque style in the 17th century.
It has a theme park called Cowboyland. Ye-ha!
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Soon after, the riders reach Tortona.
Tortona was founded as Dertona, a Roman colony, around 123BC. Here, the Via Postumia and the Via Aemilia Scauri merged to form the Via Julia Augusta.
Dertona was an important Roman military station.
The Colli Tortonesi around Tortona produce wines such as Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato, as well as three varieties of truffle.
The race takes a little detour up into the hills by Tortona. This is the first categorised climb of the day, the Côte de Tortone Fausto Coppi.
It is 1.1km at an average 6.3%, reaching a height of 190m.
Fausto Coppi lived from 1919 to 1960. He was called Il Campionissimo.
Coppi dominated cycling pre- but more so post-World War II, winning the Giro d'Italia five times between 1940 and 1953. He also won the Tour de France in 1949 and 1952, having not been allowed to enter the race before 1949.
He was born in Castellania, near Alessandria. Money for his first proper bike came from his uncle, also called Fausto Coppi.
The first time he won a race, the prize was 20 lire and a salami sandwich; the next time, it was an alarm clock.
Coppi served in North Africa in World War II, and was captured by the British Army in 1943, and kept in a PoW camp.
Gino Bartali was Coppi's main Italian rival. Bartali was conservative and religious, and popular in the rural south; Coppi was more worldly and innovative in diet and training, and a hero of the industrial north.
Coppi and Giulia Occhini were both married when they met in 1948. They ended up living together in Tortona, but it was regarded as scandalous. Eventually the Pope got involved, and the pair were put on trial for adultery in 1955, and handed suspended prison sentences. Coppi was disgraced by the affair, and his cycling career declined from then on.
Fausto Coppi caught malaria in Burkina Faso in December 1959, and died in January 1960.
Next on the route is Alessandria, with the riders passing through Marengo on the outskirts of Alessandria.
The Battle of Marengo was fought in 1800 between Napoléon and the Austrians. Bonaparte won, and this enabled him to drive the Austrians out of Italy.
Napoléon called his horse Marengo. There is a museum dedicated to the battle at Marengo, and it organises yearly reenactments.
After the fall of Napoléon, Alessandria was returned to Savoie, then it became part of a Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
The race continues to Nizza Monferrato.
Nizza Monferrato was part of Savoie from 1703. The suffix Monferrato distinguishes it from Nizza Marittima (Nice), which also belonged to Savoie.
Nizza wine is a red made with Barbera grapes.
The peloton will pedal through the Vineyards Landscape of Piedmont Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
They come to the next climb, the Côte de Barbaresco.
The climb of the Côte de Barbaresco is 1.5km at an average 6.5%, to a height of 263m.
Like Barolo, Barbaresco wine is made with the Nebbiolo grape, which has been grown in Piedmont for centuries. Barbaresco vineyards are at a lower altitude than Barolo, so the grapes ripen earlier.
A difference in the soil means that Barbaresco is lower in tannins than Barolo. This makes it a lighter wine.
There's then a descent to Alba, on the river Tanaro.
Alba dates back to Roman times, and there are some Roman ruins to see.
It is a centre of wine production, and home to Ferrero, the chocolate company.
Ten kilometres or so later the riders tackle the next climb, the Côte de Sommariva Perno.
The Côte de Sommariva Perno is 3.1km at an average 4.6% gradient, to a height of 368m. The summit is after 179km raced.
From here on it's downhill or flat to the finish.
The race passes through Carmagnola and Moncalieri, approaching Turin from the south.
Leaving Moncalieri, the race takes the Strada Torino along the left bank of the Po.
There's a sharp left over the Ponte Principessa Isabella di Savoia (Princess Isabelle of Savoie bridge), joining the Corso Dante Alighieri on the far side of the river.
Then there's one more sharp turn, this one to the right onto Corso Massimo d'Azeglio. It leads to the Parco and Castello del Valentino.
The finish line is near a monument to Guglielmo Marconi.
Turin is the capital of Piedmont, and it was capital of Italy from
1861-65. It is home to 847,000 people.
The Romans established the city around 28BC, and the Palatine Towers (Roman city gates) survive from that era. The name Turin comes from the Celtic Taurini people.
From 1563 it was capital of the Duchy of Savoie, then the Kingdom of Sardinia (also ruled by the House of Savoie). Many of the grand buildings were built in Baroque style during the Savoyard period.
With Milan and Genoa, it forms an industrial triangle. Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo are based here.
The University of Turin was founded in the 1400s, and there are still excellent universities in the city.
Juventus is a football club based in Turin. Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics.
It's not only sporting events that take place here: the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 came from Turin.
This is the first sprint stage.
In 2023, Jasper Philipsen was the best of the sprinters. Perhaps he will be on form again in 2024.
Who do you think will win Stage 3 of the 2024 Tour de France in Turin?
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