What's Cool In Road Cycling

A Year Without Paris: How to Experience the 2024 Tour de France Up Close

Every year, cycling fans all over the world tune in to the Tour de France. Traditionally, after the gruelling 3500-kilometre-long race spanning over several weeks, the event culminates with a finish in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. However, this year’s Tour de France will instead finish along the French Riviera in Nice due to the Olympic Games taking place in Paris at the same time.

This break from tradition heralds an exciting new chapter for both fans and participants, adding an extra layer of intrigue and anticipation. With more hills to climb and descend, as well as differences in weather conditions, it remains to be seen how much the scheduling change will affect the cyclists. Either way, there are plenty of reasons to prioritise seeing this year’s Tour de France in person.

2024’s New Route
It’s been said that the new route for 2024 will be one of the most challenging ever. Replacing the iconic finish in Paris with a grand conclusion in Nice not only alters the geographic narrative of the race, but also elevates the physical demands placed upon the riders. Formidable mountain stages, like Saint-Lary-Soulan (Pla d’Adet), Plateau de Beille, Isola 2000, and Col de la Couillole, all underscore the route’s elevation in difficulty and strategic depth.

While many spectators would traditionally scramble for vantage points along the cobblestones of the Champs-Élysées, you can expect this year to see spectators even more spread out all across the journey than usual, from rural France to the Alps and the Pyrenees.

The rare opportunity to see the finish take place somewhere outside of Paris is something else that you should expect fans to take advantage of. The incredible beauty of the French Riviera may even leave some fans wondering why they don’t finish things in Nice every year. Imagine travelling to see things kick off in Florence before heading to one of the beautiful locations hosting the mountain stages and finishing off in Mediterranean paradise, and that’s all without even considering what takes place in Paris a week later.

The Tour de France’s Economic Impact
One of the best parts of hosting an event of this magnitude for a country is the economic activity that comes with it. When visitors travel for the Tour de France, they’re not just there to watch cycling. They also need somewhere to stay, to eat, to shop, and this is a boon for businesses all along the Tour de France route. That said, even though Paris isn’t on the route this year, it’ll still reap the economic benefits for a few different reasons.

Firstly, it’s one of the most accessible cities on the continent, and it will usually be the first stop for travellers, even if they don’t intend to stay there. The accessibility of the city is made immediately clear to those who choose to travel with eDreams to Paris, with a seemingly endless amount of flights available to both Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. Tens of millions of passengers make their way through both of these airports each year after boarding flights from major carriers like Air France, Vueling, and Delta.

As well as that, the overlap with the Olympic Games is sure to bring people back to Paris after the Tour de France. There’s just a five-day gap between the Tour’s finish in Nice and the opening of the Games in Paris, and this rare opportunity to combine a trip around both of these great events is something that many sports fans will surely jump at.

While some people might be upset that the Tour de France won’t end in Paris this year like it usually does, others will see it as an opportunity to experience something that might not happen again for some time. When you add the Olympics into the mix on top of that, if there was a year to see the Tour in person, it’s this one.




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