le Tour de France, 2021
26th June - 18th July, 2021
starting to shed covid
With the 2020 Olympics in Japan rescheduled due to Covid-19, this year's Tour de France dates have also been advanced, from July to 26 June to 18 July 2021, to avoid having to reschedule the already rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.
Originally planned to start in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, this year's Tour de France instead starts in Brittany with the first two stages ending with sharp climbs. The next three weeks will stay almost completely in France in order minimise nternational travel complications. The only exception will be stages 15 and 16 which enter and leave Andorra, with a rest day in this high altitude principality in between. As usual, there will be the Paris finish on the Champs d'Elysées.
The 2024 Olympics are being held in France, so the proximity of the Olympics road race (25 July, 2024), as well as the very mountainous world championship scheduled in Martigny will inevitably influence the preparation programmes and the motivation of the Tour's favourites.
This year, and for the first time, the Tour de France and its main partner LCL promote the Yellow Jersey through a contest between the eight stage-cities of 2021 Grand Départ Bretagne. The competition started on 29th May and continues throughout June. From Brest to Fougères, passing by Landerneau, Perros-Guirec, Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan, Lorient, Pontivy and Redon, each city aims to decorate itself in yellow! A bike park will be offer to the winner city by LCL
2021 race route in 3D (5:08 minutes)
Travelling clockwise, this year's Tour again skips the north of France, with its less wealthy rural regions. The Tour first visits the Armorican 'mountains' in Brittany. Stage 1 features Landerneau's finish on the 3 km, 5.7% Cote de la Fosse aux Loups. Stage 2 which finishes at the summit of the 2 km, 6.9% Mur-de-Bretagne. On Stage 7, the longest stage since 2000, the race covers 249 km over the lumpy Morvan 'mountains' in the Central Massif. A short passage in the Alps follows on Stages 8 and 9.
The double-ascent of Mont Ventoux is on Stage 11, with exposed sections and its famous brutal winds towards the top will make for a hard challenge.
Andorra provides the next test with a passage of the 2,408m high Port d’Envalira on stage 15.
The Pyrenees offer hard climbing with Stage 17 going up the Col du Portet (16 km at 8.7%) and then several stretches of over 10%, while Stage 18 tackles the Col du Tourmalet before a summit finish to Luz Ardiden.
The 2019 Tour de France [TDF] was held almost entirely in the eastern half of France, except for the required excursion into the Pyrenees and the final day trip to Paris, and the 2020 TDF was even more graphic and extreme in its avoidance of regions that cannot afford stage hosting bills. This year, the 2021 TDF is just as lean.
The race will cover 3,417.5 km, with:
[Note: blue links go to profile section on this page,
There will be 21 stages. These include 6 mountain stages, 5 hilly stages and 2 against-the-clock 2 [contre-le-montre] time trials. There are 2 rest days. All other days are 'on the plain' - relatively flat days. The race's distance is be 3,417.5 kilometres or 2,123.5 miles.
Again, this year's TDF t-shirts are standard and without imagination, and the prices are still daftly steep. For those with a certain morbid curiosity. this is the TDF online boutique.
Mont Ventoux remembering when Chris Froome ran up the mountain after a crash with a motor bike
The punchy short climb to finish stage 1 on the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups.
Two climbs of the famed local climb, the Mûr-de-Bretagne. This climb has a long Tour de France history.
258 km long, the longest stage in two decades. 3,000m of vertical elevation. The Tour climbs the second category Signal d’Uchon for the first time this year.The climb is a 5.7 km test at 5.7% that averages 13.1% for the final kilometre.
This stage has three category 1 climbs: Cote de Mont-Saxonnex, Col de Romme, and Col de la Colombiere. This last climb offers a tasty final climb at 7.5km at 8.5%.
Tignes returns after the snow storms and landslides of 2019 wrecked its stage finale highlight.
This stage sees two hors categorie ascents of Mont Ventoux by two different routes. First is the 'easy' way from Sault: 24.3km at 5%. Then comes the 'classic' Bédoin climb: 15.7km at 8.8%.
After crossing the border from France to Andorra, this stage presents the highest col of the entire TDF, the Port d’Envalira's Souvenir Henri Desgrangenwith its summit reaching 2,408 m.
A tough day of successively higher peaks - the Col du Peyresourde, the Col de Val Louron-Azet, then finishing on the 2,215 m Col du Portet.
The hors categorie Tourmalet with its 17.1 km at 7.4% is the prelude to the second hors categorie climb of the day ending at Luz Ardiden. Its 13.3 km at 7.4% are the final mountain miles of the Tour.
We will provide this information when it is available, closer to the race start.
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