Tour de France reveals 2025 Grand Depart and route for four stages

The Grand Depart will return to home soil after three years away from France

Harry Latham-Coyle
Thursday 30 November 2023 13:39 GMT
<p>The 2025 Tour de France will start in Lille </p>

The 2025 Tour de France will start in Lille

The 2025 Tour de France will begin in the city of Lille as the Grand Depart returns to French soil.

The return of the start of the race to home territory comes after a run of three consecutive opening stages outside of the country.

The 2022 edition began with three stages in Copenhagen, while riders embarked this year from Bilbao in Spain.

Next summer’s Tour is slated to begin in Florence, with a route that largely avoids the north of France due to conclude in Nice with the traditional Paris sprint finish unavailable due to preparations for the Olympic Games.

The 2025 race, however, will return to the traditional cycling heartlands of French Flanders, with an opening stage set to suit the sprinters starting and concluding in the country’s fourth most populous city.

Stage Two will begin just south of Lille in Lauwin-Planque and weave towards the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, while riders will also make flatter journey towards the coast a day later on a 172km stage from Valenciennes to Dunkirk.

Amiens, meanwile, will wecome the Tour for a 14th time as it hosts the Stage Four start, with the finish and the rest of the route still to be decided.

The confirmation of the first four stages sees the pavé that characterise the Paris-Roubaix cobbled classic in the region omitted.

The route will not take riders over the famous Paris-Roubaix cobblestones

While popular with fans, the inclusion of the gruelling cobblestones in the three-week race has previously been criticised by riders, with crashes and mechanical problems common.

The Tour last began in the Nord de France area in 2001.

The return to France is likely to see organisers ASO revert to an alternating system of domestic and foreign Grand Departs.

The 2026 edition could well begin in the United Kingdom, with the UK government confirming in 2021 that it would fund a bid.

It would follow successful Tour trips across the Channel in 2007 and 2014.

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