No ceremony but a lot of buzz around the 2021 Tour de France route | More sports news


PARIS: The pump may be lacking but the punch will be there when the organizers of the Tour de France unveil the route of the 2021 edition of the race on Sunday.
Normally, the presentation masquerades as a ceremony with the great and good of the cycling world among 4000 people gathered in Paris for a sumptuous spectacle designed to make the greatest noise possible.
This year, obviously, it will be different. The coronavirus, which delayed the 2020 edition which only ended in Paris on September 20, has already ended the show and this week the presentation has been postponed from Thursday to Sunday.
But it will happen. Live on national television in the early evening on Sunday and broadcast simultaneously to cycling enthusiasts around the world, tour director Christian Prudhomme will unveil the 2021 route.
It was not easy as some folds in the map had to be flattened, although the site of the “Grand Départ”, the biggest headache, was moved from Copenhagen in July.
“We finished it in mid-October,” course director Thierry Gouvenou told AFP.
“We depended on the establishment of municipal teams after the elections (end of June).
“It was tense. We did a third of the route before the start of the 2020 Tour (end of August), we rushed after the finish for the last two thirds. But all the steps have been approved. ”
The Tour was to open with three stages in Denmark. After the postponement of the European Football Championship, in which Copenhagen hosts four matches, and the Tokyo Olympics until 2021, the Danish capital decided in July that it could no longer manage the “Grand Départ”.
“We had to find another ‘Grand Départ’ and change a week in the Tour de France,” Prudhomme recently told AFP.
And this starting point is Brest and, according to the local press, four days in Brittany, perceived by many as the cradle of French cycling which produced Louison Bobet and Bernard Hinault.
According to local politicians speaking to regional media, the race will head quickly to the Alps, pass through the iconic Mont Ventoux and several Pyrenean stages including Andorra, Col du Portet and Luz-Ardiden before a time trial near Libourne and Saint-Emilion, through the Bordeaux vineyards.
Prudhomme, however, was careful not to give too many lessons in advance.
“There is no dogma”, he said, adding that the only reality is “to vary as much as possible”.
For the whole story, cycling fans will just have to tune in on Sunday.


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