From the timeless classics to the esteemed grand tours, the forthcoming year of cycling promises to be a captivating and exhilarating spectacle.
Unbelievably, the 2024 cycling season is already less than two months away, with competitions scheduled for January in the Middle East, South America, Australia, Southern Europe, and Great Britain.
However, although we are delighted to see the sport’s top athletes return to competition and some of its largest personalities begin their seasons on a winning streak, these races are merely a taster, tantalising our appetites for more significant competitions to come in 2024.
The events highlighted below are the competitions that we eagerly anticipate witnessing in 2024.
Paris 2024 (Olympic Games Cycling)
In a rare occurrence, the esteemed Tour de France might not be France’s biggest cycling event in 2024, as the Paris 2024 Games are just around the corner.
The 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris will feature 22 cycling events in five disciplines across four venues: Pont d’Iéna for road and time trial races, Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines for track and BMX racing, and Élancourt Hill for mountain biking.
Since the resurrection of the modern Olympiad in 1896, cycling events have been included alongside fencing, artistic gymnastics, athletics, and swimming in each Summer Olympics.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has ratified gender equality as one of its objectives. For the first time, 514 cyclists will battle at Paris 2024, with an equal number of men and women.
The road race courses, which vary in length from 273 kilometres for men to 158 kilometres for women, will be difficult due to their technical nature, which includes cobblestones, tight turns, and a final ascent up Montmartre. The last segment of the course will require participants to navigate cobblestones and winding sections before heading back to the Trocadéro.
The courses additionally distinguish themselves by introducing the Games to lesser-known regions of Ile-de-France, the area encompassing Paris; the road races are held in the Essonne département, while the time trials are conducted in the Val-de-Marne département.
2024 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Long before the festivities of the Olympics, however, the primary cycling season will be underway, and we do not consider the season to have truly begun until the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium takes place.
The “Omloop,” as it is affectionately referred to, features events catering to both genders and encompasses all that we adore about the spring Classics: precipitation, gusts of wind, cobblestones, and numerous brief yet precipitous “bergs” that adorn the Flemish countryside.
Milan-San Remo 2024
Milan (2005) San Remo, which occurs in March, is the initial of the Five Cycling Monuments. It is the most extensive single-day occasion on the Pro calendar. June sees the Granfondo MILAN SAN REMO cicloturistica traverse the identical course as the renowned Spring Classic.
This is the world’s longest one-day amateur road cycling competition, spanning approximately 296 kilometres from the outskirts of Milan to the Ligurian Riviera via the ascension of the Turchino, the Lombardy and Piedmont Plains, and the Turchino.
2024 Tour de France
Little introduction is required for our next instalment, and in a Grande Boucle first, the 111th edition of the Tour de France will commence in Florence on Saturday, June 29, 2024.
For the first time in fifty years, the Champs-Élysées will not serve as the venue for the race’s conclusion. Conversely, La Grande Boucle 2024 concludes in Nice, given that the Olympic Games are being conducted in Paris during that precise timeframe.
However, this won’t affect the buzz and excitement around the world’s most bet-on cycling event. It’s the one competition of the year where even non-cycling enthusiasts are tuning in and utilising expert reviews of the latest UK betting sites to make their predictions.
Le Grand Départ of the 2024 Tour de France is situated in Florence, Italy, to be exact. The initial two stages are mountainous, but the quick males will likely have the upper hand by the third day of competition. The Tour concludes via a mountain stage and an ITT for climbers in the deep south of France.
Vuelta a Espana 2024
The Gran Salida of the Vuelta a Espana edition 79 will be held in Lisbon on Saturday, August 17, 2024. The following two stages are also completed in Portugal, and the ultimate stage concludes in Madrid on September 8th, Sunday.
Stage one will consist of an individual time trial between Lisbon and the coastal town of Oeiras along a flat course, which raucous metropolitan audiences will view. Stage 2 then proceeds from Cascais to Ourem in the north, whereas Stage 3 commences in Lousa and concludes in Castello Branco. The fourth day of competition marks La Vuelta’s return to Argentina, potentially ending in the isolated region of Extremadura.
The Spanish Grand Tour is the least geographically daring among all Grand Tours. The Vuelta had previously commenced in Lisbon only once, in 1997, when two stages were completed in Portugal, and a third stage returned the race to Huelva in arid Andalucia. It was the Vuelta’s inaugural start beyond the borders of Spain.
It will be its fifth foreign start in history and the second for the Vuelta in three years, following its 2022 debut in Utrecht, Netherlands, in Lisbon.
Giro d’Italia 2024
Italy will dominate cycling in 2024, following the Tourmalet’s dominance in 2023. A month later, the Giro d’Italia will commence with three stages in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and Piedmont. The Tour de France will begin with three locations in the same region. Stage 3 of the Tour is also completed in Turin.
The Giro d’Italia has maintained its position as the more time-trial-friendly of the three major Grand Tours. The cumulative distance against the clock of 68.2 kilometres, completed in two tests during weeks one and two, may fall short by a few kilometres from 2023. However, that final TT was conducted on a mountain, whereas the topography here is predominantly level, favouring the Rouleurs.