Tour de France to start in Barcelona in 2026

The race will travel abroad for the fourth time in five years

The Tour de France passing in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
The Tour de France frequently starts abroad but almost always ends in Paris

The Tour de France will start in Barcelona in 2026, the race’s organisers announced today (June 18) which will make it four times in five years that the race has been abroad.

The visit of the Tour de France to Spain’s second city and the Catalan capital of Barcelona is intended to coincide with the grand opening of the Sagrada Familia cathedral and the centenary of its architect Antoni Gaudí’s death.

“It will be extremely symbolic,” announced race organiser Christian Prudhomme.

“Barcelona has a sporting geography that will be very interesting for the Tour de France, thanks to the Montjuic hill. 

Then there is also the sea. Filming the Tour de France is largely done by helicopter, and climbing up above such a sporting location and getting magnificent views is clearly something that attracts us.”

The last time the race started in Spain was in 2023, when it departed from Bilbao. The year before that, it started in Copenhagen (Denmark).

In 2024, the race is starting on June 29, which is earlier than normal due to the Paris Olympic Games. It will also be the first Tour de France since 1905 not to end in Paris. Instead, it will end in Nice on July 21.

Read more: Tour de France 2024 route revealed: Will it pass near you? 

The 2025 race will see a return to normal service, departing from Lille (Nord) on July 5.

The route for the 2026 route has yet to be announced.