Fan favourite Pogacar aims for Giro-Tour double as Tour de France sets off from Florence

The 111th Tour de France kicked off from Florence on Saturday, with fan favourite Tadej Pogacar aiming for a historic Giro-Tour double in spite of a recent bout of Covid.

The Tour de France set off from the Italian city of Florence in searing heat on Saturday with Tadej Pogacar gunning for a historic Giro-Tour double, while champion Jonas Vingegaard seeks a third straight title.

The pair led the peloton past the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo and other key sites in the Renaissance city which was packed with holidaymakers and fans braving soaring temperatures.

The hilly first of three stages in Italy could already create surprises with temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) forecast in the shade.

Ahead is a gruelling 3,498 kilometre-route that crosses the Alps twice and ends exceptionally on the French Riviera rather than the Champs-Elysees on July 21 due to the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The 2024 Tour is billed as a four-way struggle.

Behind Vingegaard and 2020-2021 champion Pogacar lurk former Vuelta and Giro champion Primoz Roglic (Red Bull) and Tour newcomer Remco Evenepoel of Soudal Quick-Step.

The big four all predicted the first two days would feature a scrap for the yellow jersey between Visma's Wout Van Aert and his eternal rival Mathieu Van der Poel.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Pogacar wins Liege with epic solo break, launching bid for Giro d’Italia and Tour de France
Tour de France 2024 to follow 'dazzling' route from Florence to French Riviera
Cyclists head to France's Mont Ventoux for 'Nutters' challenge'