The Tour de France will start in Barcelona in 2026, the third time the race has started in Spain in over a century, organisers ASO announced on Tuesday.

"Barcelona is a prestigious city and it is a city of sport," Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme told AFP.

He said two complete stages would take place in Catalonia and the third stage would also begin there before crossing into France.

Cycling's most famous race started in Saint Sebastian in 1992 and in Bilbao last year.

This year the Tour starts in the Italian city of Florence on June 29 before reverting to Lille next year.

This year's Tour de France will end in Nice on July 21 in a change from its normal route because of the preparations for the Olympics in Paris.