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Tour de France TV channel, start time and how to watch the first stage online today

Tour de France TV channel, start time and how to watch the first stage online today

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The Tour de France promises plenty of excitement with a peloton full of storylines and battles over three weeks of racing.

For the first time, the Grand Tour will begin in Italy, with Florence hosting the Large departure and San Marino becomes the 14th country to be visited by a podium.

The finish of the race will also look very different, with a time trial in Nice replacing the traditional sprint on the Champs-Elysees due to ongoing preparations for Paris 2024.

Another intriguing edition of the Tour de France is about to begin (AFP via Getty Images)Another intriguing edition of the Tour de France is about to begin (AFP via Getty Images)

Another intriguing edition of the Tour de France is about to begin (AFP via Getty Images)

The individual time trial is the first conclusion of the Tour since 1989, when Greg LeMond memorably defeated Laurent Fignon in the most exciting edition in history.

Here’s everything you need to know for the 2024 Tour de France.

When is the Tour de France?

The 2024 Tour de France will be held from June 29 to July 21 and consists of 21 stages, with two rest days along the route. The race will not finish in (or near) Paris for the first time since it started, as Nice will be used instead — the French capital is out of action for the Olympics later this summer.

Where is the Grand Depart?

The Grand Depart is being held in Italy for the first time, with Florence in Tuscany as the starting point of the route. Stage 1 finishes in the seaside resort of Rimini, while the next three stages also start in Italy before the race crosses the border.

How long is the tour?

In total, the peloton will cover 3,492 km (2,170 miles) in 21 days of racing. Stage 3 (Piacenza to Turin) is the longest stage at 229 km (142 mi), while the 133 km (83 mi) route of Stage 20 (Nice to Col de La Couillole) is the shortest road stage. There are two individual time trials: Stage 7 is 25 km (16 miles) and the final stage from Monaco to Nice will be contested over 34 km (21 miles).

How can I watch it?

Viewers in Great Britain will once again have the choice of two broadcasters. ITV will offer free coverage on ITV4 and ITVX, while the Tour de France will also be available to subscribers of Eurosport and Discovery+.

Eurosport’s coverage of the opening phase begins at 10:30am (BST) on Saturday 29 June, while ITV viewers can watch from 10:45am.

If you’re traveling abroad and want to watch major sporting events, you may need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN summary is here to help and includes offers for VPNs on the market. Viewers using a VPN must ensure that they comply with all local regulations where they are located, as well as the terms and conditions of their service provider.

Who are the favorites to win?

There will be four main contenders for victory in the general classification, although each quartet arrives with important questions about their readiness for the second Grand Tour of the year. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike) will be looking for a three-peat but has not raced since suffering a broken collarbone and other injuries in a serious crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in April.

Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) were also injured in the incident, although the pair returned to racing in the recent Criterium du Dauphine as Roglic took overall victory.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) meanwhile is trying to achieve a Giro-Tour double after winning the maglia pink in Italy earlier this year — no male rider has won both races in a single season this century.

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