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112th Tour de France: A Journey Through the Heart of Northern France

By Monica Buck

In a recent press briefing held in Lille, the capital of Nord, details about the 112th Tour de France were unveiled. The 2025 Grand Départ is set to showcase the beauty and strength of the Hauts-de-France region, including the Nord department and the European metropolis of Lille.

The first stage, scheduled for July 5th, 2025, will see cyclists looping around Lille. The race then moves through the Pas-de-Calais, from Lauwin-Planque to Boulogne-sur-Mer. The next highlight is Valenciennes, reappearing in the Tour after 34 years. The third stage will end in Dunkirk, a city with a history of hosting the Tour, including the 2001 Grand Départ and the 2022 stage start. Amiens will mark the final stage in Hauts-de-France before the race ventures beyond.

This edition will spotlight the cycling legacy of Northern France, home to cycling greats like Maurice Garin and Henri Cornet, Tour winners in the early 1900s, and Jean Stablinski, a legend with over 100 professional wins. Northern France has also produced several Yellow Jersey wearers, contributing richly to the sport’s history.

Hauts-de-France, known for Paris-Roubaix, will host its fifth Grand Départ. The first stage in Lille will be crucial, with the Yellow Jersey up for grabs. The windy conditions and strategic routes, including the slopes of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette and Mont Cassel, will challenge the riders, setting the stage for an intense battle for the coveted jerseys.

The second day will push the peloton through Pas-de-Calais, culminating in a dramatic finish in Boulogne-sur-Mer. The stage, tailored for climbers, will test the sprinters with tough slopes near the finish line. The race then returns to the Nord department, from Valenciennes to Dunkirk. This stage is expected to be a mix of strategy and endurance, especially with the challenging finishes near Dunkirk.

The journey concludes on July 8th in Amiens, the historic capital of Picardy, marking the end of this leg of the Tour and setting the stage for the next phase of this epic race.