Paris Olympic cycling event routes revealed

The Tour de France group has just descended on the Paul-Armagnac circuit, in Nogaro (Gers), scene of the epilogue of the 4And stage, but, on Tuesday 4 July, part of the eyes are already a few hundred kilometers further north, towards Ile-de-France. The Organizing Committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games has unveiled the routes of the cycling races: time trial and road race.

Butte Montmartre, the Jacques-Anquetil velodrome, the valleys of Mauldre and Chevreuse… one word keeps coming out of the mouths of the organizers when it comes to describing these routes: “iconic”. In consultation with the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and the International Cycling Union (UCI), they have been developed around three imperatives, explains Aurélie Merle, executive director of sport for Paris 2024: that they respect the prerequisites of the technical skills of the UCI , that means. meet high-level requirements; with which they are consistent “DNA” of the next Games, enhancing the areas bordering the capital and its surroundings “to strike the imagination” ; finally, that they offer the public the possibility to come for free to encourage the runners involved.

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First appointment on the calendar: the time trial. As happened during the World Cup in Wollongong (Australia), in mid-September 2022 men and women will start on the same route. On the starting ramp at Les Invalides, in the 7And arrondissement of Paris, there will also be as many participants as there are women: 35 – parity will also be respected during the road race, with 90 male and 90 female competitors.

The route of the women's and men's time trials of the 2024 Olympic Games.

“The route visits the south and southeast of the capital, with a passage through the Val-de-Marne”, explains Bertrand Charrier, head of the road cycling and para-cycling road disciplines. the circuit, “rolling and without great difficulty”, it will see the athletes skirting the Jacques-Anquetil velodrome, formerly the Cipale velodrome (apheresis of “municipal track”). A nod to history, the site which hosted events during the 1924 Paris Games. With a small paved passage in front of the Château de Vincennes, the runners will conclude the 32.4 kilometers of this time trial on the Alexandre-III (7ᵉ and 8ᵉ arrondissements).

“There are long straights where you can push hard and some corners where you can maybe recover a bit. This route is a good balance between technical sections and straights.”summarizes the Italian Vittoria Guazzini, two-time world champion in time trial hopes (2021, 2022).

18-kilometre ring of Paris

A week later, it will head west with the online races, whose starting and finishing place will be common: the Trocadéro (16ᵉ arrondissement). The men will be the first to set off on 3 August for 273 kilometres, with thirteen listed difficulties (including the hill of Montmartre, which will be climbed three times) and an overall altitude difference of 2,800 metres. After 5 kilometers of parade through the streets of Paris, the real start will be rue Gay-Lussac, in the 5And constituency. Then the group will leave the capital by the Porte de Châtillon, in the direction of Versailles, then go north towards Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) before reaching the Mauldre valley (Yvelines), with the possibility of effective wind exposure – albeit low at this time of year.

The route of the men's road race of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Senlisse, Choisel, Cernay-la-Ville, Herbouvilliers (Yvelines), Boullay-les-Troux (Essonne)… the runners will then cross sites well known to cycling enthusiasts in the Ile-de-France region, in the Chevreuse valley, before returning to the City of Lights. A ring of 18 kilometers awaits them, around the hill of Montmartre (18And district) and its pebbles. A postcard circuit, which they will ride three times before crossing the finish line. Four departments of the region are affected: Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Yvelines and Essonne.

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Sunday 4 July will be the women’s turn with a 158 kilometer route scheduled, nine listed difficulties and a vertical drop of 1,700 metres. Unlike their male counterparts, the riders will go straight south, before returning to the capital, where they will compete in the same Tour of Paris as their male counterparts. In both cases these are the longest courses in the history of the Games.

The route of the women's road race of the 2024 Olympic Games.

“Every summer, road cycling proves to be one of the most popular sports in France and the summer of 2024 will be no exception to the rule! », exults Tony Estanguet, the president of Paris 2024. The Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games is hailing the idea of ​​seeing future Olympic champions raise their arms with the Eiffel Tower in the background. “Iconic”you are told.

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