A few milestones in the history of Nice in the Tour de France.
- 1906 René Pottier won the first stage to finish in Nice. The stage was 345km long and the departure was in Grenoble. He was also the final winner of the 1906 Tour de France
- 1950 Same double for Ferdi Kübler
- 1975 After a starting stage in Nice, Bernard Thévenet won the stage towards Pra-Loup, taking at the same time the yellow jersey from Eddy Merckx's back. He won the first of his 2 Tours this year.
- 1981 Bernard Hinault, world champion, won the prologue in Nice and exchanged his rainbow jersey for the yellow one. He was on his way to the 3rd of his 5 Tour victories.
- 1981 Freddy Maertens wins the sprint on the Promenade des Anglais after the first half stage.
- 2013 The Tour had just landed from Corsica. Orica Greenedge won the team time trial.
It'll be the 37th time that Nice will welcome the Tour de France. It'll be the 2nd Grand Départ after 1981.
Thursday June the 25th : presentation of the teams, place Masséna.
The Tour will start with 2 stages from Nice to Nice on the 27th and the 28th of June.
On the 29th, the third stage will also depart in Nice, in the Stadium, and the race will then join Sisteron after 198km.
On July the 5th, cyclists who want to compare themselves with the champions will have a unique opportunity with the "Etape du Tour". They will follow the exact itinerary of the second stage of the race (minus the final loop), on protected roads. 177km, with an elevation gain of 3570m. More than 15,000 people are expected to take part.
Update at mid november. According to local medias, many hotels in Nice are already fully booked for this period, and prices have been rocketing.
You can try to find an accomodation here. But it is likely that most hotels and other accomodation providers will take advantage of the situation and that prices will be very high.
Nice - Moyen pays - Nice
This stage (170km) will include 3 loops, with a departure and a finish line in Nice, on the 27th of June. If you choose your place well, you will see the racers 3 times.
- The first loop (50km) will be ridden 2 times. Riders will reach Aspremont via the boulevard de Carabacel, the boulevard of Cimiez, l'Aire St Michel and eventually the route de Nice. From Aspremont, the race will go down to the M6202 via Castagniers. They will cross the river on the Manda bridge to ride the M6202 bis. Back to Nice, then. Promenade des Anglais, port and the loop starts again from the boulevard Carabacel. The loop includes more than 600m of elevation.
- The last loop (70km) will be similar to the first two loops until Aspremont. But there the riders, instead of going down to Castagniers, will turn right towards Tourrette-Levens. Then towards Levens and down again towards the Var river via la Roquette sur Var and St Martrin du Var. Total elevation around 900m. The final 25km section, almost completely flat, should enable sprinters who managed to get along with the climbs to give a final explanation on the Promenade des Anglais to win the stage and the first yellow jersey.
Therefore from the Bvd Carabacel until Aspremont you will see the race 3 times. Same thing on the M6202 bis, Bvd des Alpes in Nice and along the Promenade des Anglais.
You will see it 2 times if you are Quai des Etats Unis or on the Castle hill side of the port, or between Aspremont and the M6202.
You will see it one time only between the departure line (Albert 1er garden) and the Tête au carré.
Where to go to see the race ?
Choose to be between the boulevard of Cimiez and Aspremont to see the race climbing 3 times. One of the steepest parts is just before the Arenes de Cimiez, along the garden to the Queen Victoria, at the top of the boulevard of Cimiez and just before the crossraod with the avenue des Arènes de Cimiez. It's not very long, around 150m.
Other possibility, the climb avenue de Rimiez, 1.5km after the St George hospital, especially 500m after the hairpin bend.
Last "steep" part on the road to Aspremont, just after the descent from the Aire St Michel, after the crossroad between avenue de Gairaut and avenue Jules Romain. It is only a few hundred meters long. The road to Aspremont, is then less steep, but offers great panoramic views on the sea and the baous while you'll be waiting for the race.
If you want to go to Aspremont that day to see the race, 3 out of the 4 accesses to the village will be closed owing to the race(Nice, Castagniers, Tourette-Levens). The only way to go there if you don't do it early enough will be to go through Colomars.
Nice - Haut Pays - Nice
Second stage avec a departure and a finish lines in Nice, on June the 28th. 19km this time and more than 3600m of elevation.
Same departure line as the day before. Heading towards la Promenade des Anglais. We backtrack the itinerary of the previous day in the Var r-iver valley, until the Manda Bridge. Then the race goes on towards the Carros industrial zone. Then the gorge of Chaudan and the Tinée valley. La Colmiane, first pass (1500m, 16,3km at 6%) before going down towards the Vésubie river, which the race follows until la Bollène Vésubie. Up again towards the Turini pass (1600m, 15km at 7%), Then back to Nice via Peira Cava and l'Escarène.
In Nice, along the Paillon river, and up again on the Grande Corniche until the Col d'Eze (500m, 7,8km at 7%). Down toward the Moyenne Corniche towards Eze village via the Tennis road, and the port of Nice and the Quai des Etats Unis. First crossing of the finish line before going again to the Grande Corniche until the col des 4 chemins. There, down to the Moyenne Corniche, the port and the finish line. On the second time the Col des 4 chemins will be climbed, 8, 5 and 2 seconds bonuses will be awarded to the three first racers.
Where to go to see the race?
Apart from the 2 main passes (Colmiane and Turini), a good place to see the race is on the beginning of the Grande Corniche, (Boulevard Bischoffsheim). There, the slope is steep, and you will see the race two times. Walk up the road on 1 or 2 kilometers to enjoy the beautiful view on Nice while you wait for the race. It's probably there that the fate of the stage and the yellow jersey will be decided.
Nice > Sisteron
The departure of the 3rd stage will take place in the football Stadium, in Nice.
The exact itinerary is not known yet, but the race will go to Grasse, first, and then join Sisteron via the Napoleon Road. 198km of a "flat" stage, say the organizers. Actually, it is flatter in the end and this stage should be won by a sprinter if a breakaway does not succeed in keeping the pack at a distance.
Note that the Nice football team (OGC Nice) was just bought in 2019 by Ineos, the sponsor of the best cycling team which won the last Tours de France with Bernal, Wiggins, Thomas and Froome. And the stadium where the departure will take place is precisely the stadium where this team plays at home.