The Tour de France is set to commence on home soil in 2025, starting in Lille and the northern France region. This marks the first ‘home’ start for the Tour since 2021. ASO, the Tour organizers, confirmed that the Hauts-de-France Region, Nord Department, and Lille European Metropolis will host the opening stages of the 112th edition, following three consecutive starts abroad in Copenhagen, Bilbao, and the upcoming 2024 start in Florence, Italy.
Although the full details of the 2025 Grand Départ are yet to be disclosed and are scheduled to be announced on November 30 in Lille, speculation surrounds the potential inclusion of the cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix and various terrain in the Hauts-de-France Region. The proximity to the cobblestone routes hints at a possible challenging start to the Tour. Lille, known for being close to the Paris-Roubaix cobbles, has historically been a start-finish town for the Tour’s pavé stages. Local media report that the first stage will commence in Lille, with the possibility of four stages in the Hauts-de-France Region before moving along the west coast of France towards Normandy and Brittany.
This return to France for the Grand Départ highlights the Tour’s connection to its roots, promising a blend of flat and bumpy terrains, potentially including cobbles and coast roads. The 2025 edition, expected to begin in Lille, will see the Tour de France returning to the Nord de France area for the first time since 2001, when Christophe Moreau won the prologue time trial. The region last hosted a Grand Départ in 1960 and 1994, with Chris Boardman winning the prologue 29 years ago.
The 2025 route may also celebrate Caen’s millennium, with other potential stage finishes including Bayeux, Lisieux, Bernard Hinault’s hometown of Yffiniac, and the Mûr-de-Bretagne hilltop finish. This edition of the Tour is expected to return to Paris in 2025, following the 2024 finale in Nice due to the Paris 2024 Olympics.