2026 Tour de France Grand Départ confirmed for Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 26: (L-R) Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo-Visma - Green leader jersey and Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team Soudal Quick-Step - Yellow best young jersey compete in Alt del Castell de Montjuïc during the 102nd Volta Ciclista a Catalunya 2023, Stage 7 a 135.8km stage from Barcelona to Barcelona / #UCIWT / on March 26, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. ( (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Tour de France organisers, ASO, have confirmed that the 2026 Grand Départ will take place in Barcelona, marking the race’s return to the Catalan capital for the first time since 2009. The event will span three days from July 4th-6th, 2026.

Negotiations for Barcelona to host the start of the race moved slowly, but by May, local media had reported it was nearly finalised. The definitive confirmation from ASO came on Tuesday, followed by a ceremony in Barcelona’s town hall. This marks the fourth foreign start for the Tour de France in five years, following Copenhagen in 2022, Bilbao in 2023, Firenze in 2024, and Lille in 2025.

Last year, Barcelona hosted the opening stage of the Vuelta a España, which included a team time trial overshadowed by controversy. Insufficient illumination due to unexpected heavy rain and cloud cover led to issues with automatic street lighting. This was followed by a stage finish in Barcelona’s Montjuic Park, as a key area in the city’s road racing history.

Montjuic Park is expected to feature prominently in the 2026 Tour. The park has a rich cycling history, hosting events like the now-defunct Subida a Montjuic, won six times by Eddy Merckx. The entire finishing circuit of the last stage of the Volta a Catalunya has consistently taken place in Montjuic. It has also been a recurring site for the Vuelta, the 1973 World Championships, and the cycling events in the 1992 Olympic Games.

Barcelona’s connection with the Tour de France dates back to 1957, when the city hosted three stages, including an individual time trial won by French legend Jacques Anquetil. In 1963, the city witnessed an epic solo victory by local star José Pérez Francés. The most recent visit was in 2009, with Thor Hushovd winning an uphill sprint stage. The next day’s stage started in Barcelona and finished in Andorra at Ordino-Arcalis.

Thor Hushovd – 2009 Tour de France

The 2026 Tour’s Grand Départ will coincide with the anticipated completion of one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, the Sagrada Familia cathedral, a project that began in 1882. Race director Christian Prudhomme told L’Équipe, “We love the big cities, be they French or foreign. But on condition that we also continue to visit the smallest places, the villages in France, too. That’s non-negotiable. Barcelona had the political will to do it, but also a sporting interest because of Montjuic.”

Stage 1 will be entirely within the city, with Stage 2 also starting and finishing in Barcelona. Stage 3 will see the race head towards more familiar terrain in France, starting from the city.

Main photo credit: Getty

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