Your Year With The Pros: A Guide to the 2024 Road Racing Season


, by Max Leonard

Photography by: A.S.O. / Charly Lopez

With "opening weekend" now past – and with standout performances from Visma–Lease a Bike, which won both Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne and the men’s and women’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad – the road season is now truly underway. Here’s our guide to some of the highlights of the year.


Our first favourite race of the year, the Strade Bianche, takes place on the 2nd of March. Its combination of beautiful Tuscan scenery, white gravel roads, and a super-steep finish on the via Santa Caterina have made this one-day race a "Monument in waiting," and it never disappoints. Tom Pidcock won the 2023 men’s edition; as for the Strade Bianche Women Elite, the last winner was the unstoppable Demi Vollering.

The very next day, Paris–Nice, the first big European stage race, kicks off, with notable climbs in the final days of La Colmiane (KOM Winner Anacona) and Auron.

The first real Monument, Milan–San Remo, follows on the 16th of March, and then the Tour of Flanders squeaks in on the 31st of March. Tadej Pogačar will defend his men’s title and world champion Lotte Kopecky her women’s.

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One of the hardest men’s early-season stage races, the Itzulia Basque Country, takes place from 1-6 of April, but April is really all about the northern one-day Classics. Perhaps the most famous – or infamous – Paris-Roubaix, takes place on April 7th. Fans will, as ever, be hoping for wet weather, and the mud bath that ensues. Riders, including Roubaix reigning champions Matthieu van der Poel and Alison Jackson, will be hoping to get around safely and, possibly, take a shot at a sporting legend.

Photography by: A.S.O. / Pauline Ballet

The sporting arena then moves away from the cobbles to the hills of the Ardennes classics, where seeing the riders of the Flèche Wallone and Flèche Wallone Féminine hit the "wall" of the punishing Mur de Huy summit finish is always a highlight. Then Liège-Bastogne-Liège crowns the spring Classics: Remco Evenepoel and Demi Vollering will be defending their titles here.


May is all about the men’s Giro d’Italia, where the prodigious Tadej Pogačar will be starting his quest for a historic Giro-Tour double. If he is to achieve this, he’ll have to come out on top over three weeks that feature 44,550m / 146,000 ft of climbing, and passes including the Stelvio (21km / 13 mi @ 7.4%) and the Passo Rolle (19.2km / 11.9 mi @ 4.8%). And on the penultimate stage, two ascents of the fearsome Monte Grappa, which climbs almost 1,500m / 1 mi at an average gradient of over 8%.

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In June, it’s good to see the Women’s Tour of Britain back on the schedule after not running in 2023. It promises a hilly start on June 4th in Wales, though the route has not yet been announced, and will run to a weekend finale on June 9th.

Later in the month, the Tour de Suisse takes place. This year sees the third women’s edition run alongside the men’s race, which is one of the traditional warm-ups for the Tour de France. The Critérium du Dauphiné is the other event where Tour de France contenders fine-tune their form. This year’s Stage 7 sees a particularly fine parcours taking in the classic HC Col des Saisies, Col des Aravis and Col de la Colombiere before a summit finish – expect a Tour de France-style alpine showdown!

Photography by: A.S.O. / Billy Ceusters


You can’t look beyond the Tour de France in men’s cycling in July. It’s the focus of the season for top racers and fans alike. We’ll bring you an in-depth route analysis closer to race day, but the literal high point will be the Cime de la Bonette. At 2,802m / 9,193 ft, it is the highest paved inter-valley road in Europe, on Stage 19.

RELATED: Tour de France 2024 Route Preview: It’s Climby!

On the women’s side of things, the rebranded Giro d’Italia Women will run from 7-14 of July and take in 11,950m / 39,200 ft of climbing over those eight days. It gets progressively lumpier as the race progresses, with Stage 7 featuring the 20km- / 13 mi-plus climb of Blockhaus: with over 1,600m / 1 mi of ascent, this is one of the biggest climbs ever featured in women’s racing.


Traditionally a fallow month before the Vuelta a España, August is jam-packed this year, as it hosts the men’s and women’s Olympic road races (3rd and 4th of August). These head into the picturesque Chevreuse Valley to the southwest of Paris before returning to the city for a few short, sharp climbs, with the Côte de la Butte de Montmartre coming 9.5km / 6 mi before the finish in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Thanks to the Olympics, the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has been delayed from its usual start in July and instead runs from 12-18 of August. It starts in Holland and finishes atop the iconic Alpe d’Huez, the first time it has raced the climb. Records are bound to fall, but who will take the QOM crown? For this – and the yellow jersey – Demi Vollering and her SD Worx team already look hard to beat.

RELATED: Tour de France Femmes 2024 Route Preview: Heading up the Alpe d’Huez!

Photography by: A.S.O. / Charly Lopez

Finally, the men’s Vuelta a España starts on August 17th. Although a more relaxed affair for riders than the Tour de France, it is traditionally a hard race targeted by climbers. This year it features only one flat stage and no less than nine uphill or summit finishes, including the classic Lagos de Covadonga, where the KOM is held by Thibaut Pinot.

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The Vuelta finishes on September 8th, the same Sunday as the week-long men’s Tour of Britain (route yet to be announced), which is a traditional warm-up race for the men’s UCI World Championships road race. This will cap a week of world champ festivities, featuring track and women’s and para-cycling races too. It starts on September 21st in Zürich.


Aside from a few smaller stage races in China and the Tour of Turkey, the season finishes in Italy with Il Lombardia, where Tadej Pogačar may well try to make it four wins in a row.

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