Nice hosts its second Grand Départ, having previously seen the race set off in 1981 with a Bernard Hinault prologue victory. It will be the 36th time that La Grande Boucle visits the town in the highly picturesque Provence region. The first inclusion was in 1906 and the latest in 2013, when Orica-GreenEdge won a TTT and Simon Gerrans took the yellow jersey.
The format of the Grand Départ is rather unusual, yet very promising. La Grande Boucle sets off from Nice with two identical loops of 50 kilometres before concluding with another loop of 70 kilometres. The 1st stage starts and finishes in Nice, but moves through the city twice as well.
The first 17 kilometres of the Tour de France run uphill at shallow gradients to Aspremont. The descent leads to Carros and continues onto a flat section of 25 kilometres before the riders cross the line for the first time. The second loop is a carbon copy of the first.
The last loop also climbs to Aspremont and then continues to Tourrette-Levens. An 8 kilometres climb at approximately 3 to 4% leads to Levens. On descent the route moves through Saint-Martin-de-Var and the riders return to the route of the first loops just before Carros. So the finale is played out on familiar ground.
Tour de France 2020 stage 1: route, profile, more
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