The Promenade des Anglais finish on 10 March will act as an invitation to July’s Tour de France, where riders will make their final sprint away from Paris for the first time, in Nice’s Place Masséna.  A dig through the archives of the “Race to the sun” reveals that it has something else in common with the 2024 Grand Boucle: the 17th edition took the peloton from Paris to Rome via Nice and Florence. At the start of the 1959 season, the “Race of the Two Capitals” saw the aborted duel between Jacques Anquetil and Roger Rivière, the emergence of a new generation with the two winners (yes, two!) Jean Graczyk and Gérard Saint, and several incredible missed opportunities such as Gastone Nencini's frustrating setback at home in the Tuscan capital. This is a four-part account of an eventful Franco-Italian adventure – and a unique one at that