Opening 3 stages of 2025 Tour de France set for northern France

LILLE, France -- The first three stages of the 2025 Tour de France will take place in the north of the country, organizers said Thursday, with a sprinter likely to grab the first yellow jersey.

Organizer ASO had already announced this month that cycling's premier race would start from the city of Lille on July 5, 2025.

The opening stage will be a loop around the city with a mainly flat finale. The next day, the peloton will cover 130 miles from Lauwin-Planque to Boulogne-sur-Mer, with the finish line at the top of a kilometer-long hill.

That trek will be followed by Stage 3 from Valenciennes to Dunkirk. Organizers also unveiled the start of Stage 4 in Amiens, the capital city of the Picardy region.

The opening of the 112th edition of the showcase race will return to France after three straight years of starting abroad. It began in Denmark in 2022 and from Bilbao in Spain earlier this year. Next year's race begins from the Italian city of Florence.

It will be the third time that the race starts in Lille, along with 1960 and 1994.