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Tour de France officials unveiled Monday a stunning closing weekend mix of stages to conclude the 2024 edition.
In what’s already an historic edition that will start in Italy and end beyond the immediate environs of Paris both for the first time in race history, what race organizers revealed Monday also sets up the tantalizing possibility of another closing time trial reversal of fortune.
Some of the Tour’s most memorable and exciting editions have come against the improbable.
Topping many lists for the best Tour ever is Greg LeMond’s famous U-turn in 1989 against Laurent Fignon and his fluttering ponytail in the final individual time trial in Paris.
Confirmation that the 2024 Tour will close with an interesting 35km time trial over La Turbie and Col d’Eze above the glittering Côte d’Azur sets up a possible repeat.
When has it happened before?
Somewhat surprisingly in a race with more than 100 years of racing, there’s only been a few times when the late-race final time trial has upturned the GC.
In 1968, Jan Janssen did it at the expense of Herman Van Springel in 1968.
Of course, LeMond’s eight-second victory over Fignon continues to rattle across the history pages. And to heighten the stakes even more, the final time trial was also the final stage.
Cadel Evans did it against Luxembourg climber Andy Schleck in 2011, and most recently, Tadej Pogačar delivered the stunning knockout of Primož Roglič in 2020, both on the penultimate stage.
The stage is set for a possible repeat of racing drama in 2024 with the final stage running from Monaco to Nice.