How long is the Tour de France?

The Tour de France has changed dramatically since the first edition in 1903. We examine how the length and speed of the Tour de France has evolved with time

The Tour de France is the world's biggest bike race and the leading event in the men's professional cycling calendar. Riders strive their whole careers to win stages, or even to just start and finish the race.

The 2024 Tour de France route follows a standard formula of 21 stages, with a mixture of flat, hilly, and mountainous days. The difference in this edition though is that the Tour begins in Italy with three stages before moving back to France at the end of stage four.

With two rest days in the three weeks, despite a Grand Départ abroad the race will not take an extra rest day to accommodate travel as it did after the Danish start in 2022. However, this Tour will have a distinctly different finish to tradition, with a time trial in Nice bringing down the curtain on the race due to the Olympic Games taking place in Paris.

How far is the 2024 Tour de France in kilometres and miles?

This 111th edition of the Tour de France covers a total distance of 3,492km, or 2,169.8 miles, making it the longest of the three Grand Tours in 2024, with the Giro d’Italia second at 3,317.5km and the Vuelta a España the shortest at 3,265km. 

This Tour de France is longer than last year’s edition, which totalled 3,406km. The first three editions of the race totalled less than 3000km but were spread across just six gruelling stages. Following that, the Tour tended to be much longer, covering distances in excess of 5000km in the 1920s and regularly exceeding 4000km right up until the 1980s, when distances began to be reduced. 

Tour de France 2023

Now the race has found a happy medium – incorporating a variety of distances over the course of the three weeks that make for exciting and unpredictable racing, but remain within the capabilities of the modern peloton.

The challenges that face the riders throughout the 21 stages of a Grand Tour come in myriad shapes and sizes. This year, the race begins in the Tuscan city of Florence with an exceptionally difficult 206km hilly stage to Rimini. The opening stage to this year's edition could see general classification splits from the off, but most likely will be a chance for late attacks by the puncheurs. Looking to challenge the riders from the get-go, the second stage of this year's Tour follows a similar pattern to the first, with a 199.2km from Cesenatico to Bologna that could play out similarly to the opening day.

The final stage entirely in Italy will be a chance for the sprinters. However, a distance of more than 230km will make this an energy sapping day ahead of the first mountain test on stage four, when the race starts in Italy for the final time in Pinerolo and travels into the Alps with a finish in Valloire at the foot of the Col du Galibier.

The race then remains in France for the duration, with further stages in the Alps and the Massif Central, a gravel stage in Troyes, and summit finishes in the Pyrenees. The race then heads to the Maritime Alps near the Côte d'Azur before it's final showdown in Nice.

Compared to the 2024 edition, this year's route is much more mixed, with two time trials and a gravel stage amongst mountain top finishes and unpredictable hilly stages.

Tour de France distance over previous ten editions

  • Tour de France 2024: 3,492 kilometres / 2,170 miles
  • Tour de France 2023: 3,405 kilometres / 2,116 miles
  • Tour de France 2022: 3,328 kilometres / 2,068 miles
  • Tour de France 2021: 3,414 kilometres / 2,122 miles
  • Tour de France 2020: 3,484 kilometres / 2,165 miles
  • Tour de France 2019: 3,366 kilometres / 2,091 miles
  • Tour de France 2018: 3,351 kilometres / 2,082 miles
  • Tour de France 2017: 3,540 kilometres / 2,200 miles
  • Tour de France 2016: 3,529 kilometres / 2,193 miles
  • Tour de France 2015: 3,360 kilometres / 2,088 miles
  • Tour de France 2014: 3,661 kilometres / 2,275 miles
  • Tour de France 2013: 3,404 kilometres / 2,115 miles

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