The start of the 112th edition of the Tour de France will be given from the European Metropolis of Lille on Saturday 5 July 2025.
NORTHERN POWERHOUSE! by Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France
The Hauts-de-France Region, the Department of Nord and the Lille European Metropolis have joined forces to bring the Grand Départ back to France after three successive excursions beyond our borders. We look forward to being in one of cycling’s strongholds, indelibly associated, of course, with Paris-Roubaix and its cobbles, and with Jean Stablinski, a champion who left an enduring and glorious legacy.
The North of France, in the broad and generous sense in which we regard it today, is particularly dear to me. It was here, at the École Supérieure de Journalisme in Lille, that I learned my first trade.
The Tour de France has already started from here on four occasions, two of them orchestrated by Jean-Marie Leblanc, my eminent predecessor and mentor. This fifth Grand Départ will be an opportunity to pay homage to one of the heartlands of world cycling.
We’re relishing seeing the huge crowds that we’ve previously witnessed when the Tour has visited the Lille metropolitan area, and then continuing in that same celebratory manner on the road from Lauwin-Planque to Boulogne sur-Mer, from Valenciennes to Dunkirk, and in Amiens. I’m absolutely certain that from the moment the race gets under way in Lille, the Hauts-de-France region will provide the perfect setting, one that’s both warm and welcoming, for the opening four days of the 112th Tour de France.
Another prestigious competition and another great festival of cycling in the Hauts-de-France region!
Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France region
As a major partner of Paris-Roubaix, the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, the Grand Prix de Fourmies and many other races, the Region is passionate about cycling and the popular fervor it generates. In 2025, the whole of the Hauts-de-France Region will turn out to support the champions at the Tour de France’s Grand Départ. We’re all very proud to have the chance to do so. Long live cycling in the region!
To our great delight, the Tour de France is back in Nord, department the most populous in France.
Christian Poiret, President of the department of Nord
The Department is happy and proud to be hosting the Tour de France’s Grand
Départ in 2025. It has huge significance for the department’s inhabitants and for our heritage. Our department is synonymous with cycling: its people, their conviviality, their generosity and their sense of celebration will all be highlighted by this magnificent event.
Hosting major events has become a hallmark of the Lille European Metropolis. Damien Castelain, President of the Lille European Metropolis
The Tour de France, which we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming on many occasions, is no exception. That’s why, after an unforgettable stage in 2022, we wanted to dream even bigger with the Grand Départ in 2025. We’re renowned for the depth and warmth of our hospitality. The Tour will be the focus for a great popular celebration.
We're thinking big!
The Hauts-de-France region, the department of Nord and the Lille European Metropolis are part of a territory that’s seen a remarkable transformation. The textile and coal mining industries nurtured the area’s fertile entrepreneurial soil, and it’s no surprise that the heartland of France’s electric battery manufacturing has been established here, further accelerating our transition to low-carbon mobility.
This commitment is also reflected in the ongoing construction of the Seine-North Europe Canal and the booming number of cycle routes. As a consequence, you can discover the region’s highlights by bike: the Lille metropolitan area, the Flanders hills, the Bay of the Somme, our museums and the giants that have long been a draw at our festivals, the revitalised mining area, and not forgetting the region’s inescapable gastronomy. By working together, we’re thinking big! Prior to the Tour, the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games opted to come to the Lille Metropolis, establishing Nord and the Hauts-de-France region as a venue for the biggest international events.
Administrative region in Northern France comprising five departments:
Aisne (02), Nord (59), Oise (60), Pas-de-Calais (62), Somme (80)
- Surface area: 31,806 km2
- Population: 6,000,000
Department of Nord
Prefecture : Lille
- Population: 2,600,000
- France's most populous department
Lille European Metropolis
Metropolis comprising 95 communes around the towns of Lille, Roubaix, Tourcoing and Villeneuve-d’Ascq
- Population: 1,183,000
- Lille, stage town for the nineteenth time
Lauwin-Planque Commune in the department of Nord
- Population: 1,750
- Stage town for the first time
Boulogne-sur-Mer Sub-prefecture in the department of Pas-de-Calais
- Population: 42,500
- Stage town for the fifth time
Valenciennes Sub-prefecture in the department of Nord
- Population: 44,000
- Stage town for the fifth time
Dunkerque Sub-prefecture in the department of Nord
- Population: 89,000
- Stage town for the twenty-first time
Amiens Métropole Prefecture of Somme
- Population: 134,000
- Stage town for the fourteenth time
1906 FIRST STAGES in the North in Lille and Douai
37 TOWNS AND CITIES STAGES in the Hauts-de-France Region since 1906
GRAND DÉPARTS IN THE HAUTS-DE-FRANCE
2001 Côte d’Opale Dunkerque
- Wednesday 2 July : opening of the race headquarters and press centre
- Thursday 3 July : presentation of the 2025 Tour de France Teams
- Saturday 5 July : STAGE 1 Lille Métropole > Lille Métropole
- Sunday 6 July : STAGE 2 Lauwin-Planque > Boulogne-sur-Mer
- Monday 7 July : STAGE 3 Valenciennes > Dunkerque
- Tuesday 8 July : STAGE 4 Amiens Métropole > ?
STAGE 1 | Lille Métropole > Lille Métropole | 5 Juillet 2025 | 185km
This will be a perfect opportunity for the sprinters to contest the first Yellow Jersey. There are three climbs – the first in Artois (Notre-Dame-de-Lorette), shortly after passing through Lens, then two in Flanders (the cobbled side of Mont Cassel and Mont Noir, around 40km from the finish). These will produce a great battle for the King of the Mountains jersey.
After this loop around Lille, where vigilance will be needed as there’s the possibility of a cross-wind that could produce splits in the bunch, victory should be decided between the peloton’s fastest riders, with the finish located at the foot of the Citadel and at the end of a wide and perfectly flat kilometre-long straight.
STAGE 2 | Lauwin-Planque > Boulogne-sur-Mer | 6 Juillet 2025 | 209km
Starting in the heart of the Douais region, this stage’s profile will almost certainly lead to a new name in the Yellow Jersey. If, as expected, the previous stage has been won by a pure sprinter, it will be difficult for them to cope with the constant wear and tear in the Artois and Boulonnais hills and by the incessant battle for position as those climbs open out onto windy plateaus.
The finish, meanwhile, is tailor-made for puncheurs with two tough climbing tests on the coast, at Saint Étienne-au-Mont, where there are sections at 15%, then at Outreau, with around 5km remaining, the finish line will be located at the top of a kilometre-long climb. The favourites for the overall crown will need to have their wits about them.
STAGE 3 | Valenciennes > Dunkerque | 7 Juillet 2025 | 172km
Starting on fairly sheltered roads, the route will cross the coalfields initially to reach the intermediate sprint at Isbergues, a major cycling venue in northern France. After climbing Mont Cassel, the final 35 kilometres through the vast expanse of the Flanders countryside will be exposed to the wind. The leaders will need strong team-mates around them for protection just in case echelons form.
The finale will be decided by the strength and direction of the wind: the peloton will either split into several groups, or there’ll be a bunch sprint. If this second eventuality plays out, the finish location, close to the Marcel-Tribut stadium, will provide the ideal setting for a showdown between the sprinters.
STAGE 4 | Amiens Métropole > ? | 8 Juillet 2025 |
Seven years have passed since Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen’s victory on the most recent of the Tour’s ten finishes in Amiens and its metropolitan area. This will be the race’s 14th visit to Jules Verne’s adopted city, from which the riders will depart for an as yet unknown destination.
The historic capital of Picardy, and the second-largest city in the Hauts-de-France region after Lille, will showcase its majestic setting to race followers, spectators and television viewers. Lying at the heart of it is the Notre-Dame cathedral, the largest in the country and a jewel of Gothic art, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.
Two winners :
1903 : The first winner of the Tour de France, Maurice Garin, was born in Italy’s Aosta valley. Naturalised as a Frenchman, he settled at Lens in the Pas-de-Calais after his racing career, opening a service station. He is buried in the Lens-Est cemetery at Sallaumines.
1904 : Aged just 20 when he took the title and still the youngest Tour de France winner, Henri Cornet was born in Desvres (Pas-de-Calais). He grew up in the Paris region, but made a glorious return to the north of France when he won Paris-Roubaix in 1906.
A leader of the overall classification
1910 : Charles Crupelandt (standing in white), born in Wattrelos in the department of Nord, twice led the Tour after winning the opening stage in the 1910 and 1912 editions. He also took two victories in Paris-Roubaix, in 1912 and 1914, and the last cobbled sector of the race now bears his name.
Seven Yellow Jerseys
1922 : Roubaix-born Jean Alavoine took the Yellow Jersey in the Pyrenees during the 1922 Tour. He kept it for five stages, ceding it as the race left the Alps. Over the course of an exceptionally long career extending from 1909 to 1923, he claimed 17 stage victories.
1939 : Born in Armentières, Department of Nord, and partly schooled within the tough environment of Belgian kermesse races, Amédée Fournier developed a fine turn of speed. It enabled him to win the opening stage of the 1939 Tour in a sprint and hold the Yellow Jersey.
1973 : José Catieau, who came from the village of Coutiches (Nord) and later moved to Saint-Quentin (Aisne), took the Yellow Jersey in Reims two days on from his stage win in Saint-Nicolas (Belgium). He would later relinquish it to his team leader Luis Ocaña, the overall winner of the 1973 Tour.
1987 : Martial Gayant, who hails from Chauny (Department of Aisne), took a solo win on the 11th stage of the 1987 Tour in Chaumeil. As a result, he “borrowed” the Yellow Jersey from team mate Charly Mottet, to whom he returned it two days later in Pau at the end of the first mountain stage.
1997 : Cédric Vasseur won the fifth stage of the 1997 Tour in La Châtre, at the end of a long and daring raid, and then held the Yellow Jersey for five days. A native of Hazebrouck, he has remained loyal to his home region, as he now heads the Cofidis team, which is based in the region.
1998 : Winner of a stage of the 1997 Tour in Perpignan, Laurent Desbiens, born in Mons-en Baroeu, in the Nord, wore the Yellow Jersey for two days the following year after slipping into a breakaway that was led home by Jacky Durand in Montauban.
2001 : Hailing from the department of Aisne and specifically from Vervins (Department of Aisne), Christophe Moreau became the first Yellow Jersey of the 2001 Tour thanks to his victory in the prologue at Dunkirk during the Grand Départ on the Côte d’Opale. He held it until the end of the second stage in Antwerp, Belgium.
An emblematic figure
Jean Stablinski, who was born in 1932 in Thun-Saint-Amand (Nord) and died in 2007 in Lille, won more than 100 professional races, including the world championship in 1962, four French championships in 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964, the Tour of Spain in 1958 and five Tour de France stages between 1957 and 1967. While living in Valenciennes, he discovered the Arenberg Trench, one of the key sectors of Paris-Roubaix. Roubaix’s indoor velodrome is called “Le Stab” in tribute to him.
A Tour de France director
A former professional cyclist who raced the Tour twice in 1968 and 1970, Jean-Marie Leblanc went on to become a journalist with La Voix des Sports and L’Équipe, and then became an astute director of the Tour de France from 1989 to 2006. He now follows the cycling news from his home village of Fontaine-au-Bois in the Avesnois region.