Tour de France 2025 to start with Northern France but avoids cobbles


The 2025 Tour de France Grand Départ, starting in Lille and the Nord Department, will intriguingly omit the notorious cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. Announced at a presentation in Lille, the opening three stages promise sprints, punchy finishes, and potentially challenging crosswinds, but will avoid pavé sectors.

Stage one, a loop starting and finishing in Lille, could see the influence of wind, along with early climbs like Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Mont Cassel, and Mont Noir. The sprinters are anticipated to shine in Lille, the largest city in the Hauts-de-France region, especially with the last climb positioned 40km from the finish line.

2025 Tour de France Stage 1 Map & Profile

2025 Tour de France Stage 2 Map & Profile

Stage two takes the peloton from Lauwin-Planque to Boulogne-sur-Mer on the Channel coast. This stage, seemingly tailored for a puncheur, concludes with the Côte d’Opale, including climbs at Saint-Etienne-au-Mont and Outreau within the final 10km. This stage could see the yellow jersey change hands and may attract riders like Wout van Aert.

2025 Tour de France Stage 3 Map & Profile

The third stage leads from Valenciennes, near the Arenberg cobbles, northwest to Dunkerque by the sea. Featuring an intermediate sprint at Isbergues and a climb on the Côte de Cassel, the stage is likely to conclude near the Channel.

Stage four commences in Amiens, but further details remain unknown. The Tour is expected to travel through Normandy and Brittany as it progresses south towards the Pyrenees and Alps.

Speculation about the inclusion of cobbles proved unfounded. The route sticks predominantly to the tarmac, possibly influenced by the gravel stage planned for the 2024 Tour. The northern region of France, overlooked in the 2023 and 2024 Tours, will finally gain prominence in 2025.

This marks the first start in France in four years, re-establishing a pre-pandemic pattern of alternating between foreign and domestic Grand Départs. Lille’s previous hosting of the Grand Départ was in 1994, with Chris Boardman and Djamolidine Abduzhaparov taking early-stage wins. The Nord de France area last saw a Tour start in 2001 with Christophe Moreau’s prologue victory.

The 2025 Tour will also resume its traditional finale in Paris on the Champs-Élysées, following a 2024 conclusion in Nice. The initial stages are:

Stage 1: Lille – Lille
Stage 2: Lauwin-Planque – Boulogne-sur-Mer
Stage 3: Valenciennes – Dunkerque
The fourth stage will begin in Amiens, with further details pending.

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