The Tour de France 2021 route was unveiled on Sunday evening at a special edition of the French sports fair Stade 2. The 108th edition of the race, which will take place from June 26 to July 18, includes a double stage Mont Ventoux in its centerpiece, the first time that the race has climbed the Giant of Provence twice in one day.
The race also adds more distance to the individual time trial after several years of promoting uphill prowess. The 2020 route consisted of barely 36.2 km time trial, while 2019 saw 54.8 km time trial, including a 27.6 km team test. Overall, the 58 km time trial of the Tour de France 2021 is the biggest since 2013, and the first time since 2017 that the race has included two TTs.Brittany will host the Grand Départ, Brest hosting stage 1 before three other stages in the region, including a finish at the top of a hill in Mûr-de-Bretagne. The day will also feature La Course by le Tour de France where the women will also end up on the steep “wall”.The 27km time trial at Laval in Stage 5, the first of two in the race, will provide the first GC contender reshuffle in the three weeks.
After a first week with three probable chances for the sprinters of Pontivy, Fougères and Châteauroux, the Alps are next on the menu. Stage 8 visits Grand-Bornand after a two-year absence, after a 151 km race from Oyonnax which includes the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière.
The second day in the Alps – and the last stage before the first day of rest – sees the peloton take the first finish at the top of the race. The Col des Saisies, Col du Pré and Cormet de Roselend all feature on the 145 km stage before the long climb to the finish in Tignes, which was to feature on the 19th stage of the 2019 race before the landslides of field do not see a neutralization mid-stage.
Another chance for the sprinters is following a 186 km stage from Albertville to Valence before returning to Mont Ventoux after a four-year absence. The famous mountain will appear twice on the 11th 199 km stage – a first for the Tour de France. The stage ends in Malaucècene after a descent of the climb – the first time since 1994 and the famous solo breakaway by Eros Poli.
After Ventoux, other flat days are on the menu with stages towards Nîmes and Carcassonne as the race heads south towards the Pyrenees. A mid-mountain stage in Quillan kicks off, with the Col de Montségur, the Col de la Croix des Morts and the Col de Saint-Louis constituting a stage that promises to be ripe for attackers and breakaways.
Stage 15 will take the riders to Andorra La Vella, where Port d’Envalira will be the highest point of the Tour at 2,408 meters. A descent awaits the runners after four major climbs, with the Col de Beixalis as the last mountain.
The second day of rest follows before a stage for the barodeurs in Saint-Gaudens then another summit finish in Saint-Lary Soulan, which was the last time in the 2018 race. The Col de Peyresourde and the Col de Val Louron-Azet precede the final climb, the trio of climbs ensuring that the stage is a date to mark in the agendas of GC candidates.
Stage 18 will see the riders embark on the monster climbs of Luz Ardiden and the Col de Tourmalet on what is now a hallmark of the Modern Tour – a 131 km mini stage that will be the last chance for those who dream of the yellow jersey to make a difference in the mountains.
Attention will turn to the sprinters the next day, as they will not fail to contest the finish of a 203 km stage in Libourne before the final time trial, a 31 km race to Saint Emilion which will host the final battle for Jaune.
The traditional stage in Paris, this time 112 km from Chatou, completes the race, with the pride of the sprinters to win on the Champs-Élysées as the winner of the Tour de France 2021 crosses the line to celebrate.
|2||27/06/21||Dogs-Gueirec||Brittany Wall||182||Middle Mountain|
|5||30/06/21||Exchange||Laval (ITT)||27||Individual time trial|
|sept||7/2/21||Vierzon||Le Creusot||248||Middle Mountain|
|8||7/3/21||Oyonnax||Le Grand Bornand||151||High mountain|
|9||7/4/21||Cluses||Tignes – Val Claret||145||High mountain|
|Day off 1||7/5/21|
|15||7/11/21||Céret||Andorra la Vella||192||High mountain|
|Day off 2||7/12/21|
|17||14/07/21||Muret||St. Lary Soulan – Col de Portet||178||High mountain|
|18||15/07/21||Pau||Ardiden light||130||High mountain|
|20||17/07/21||Libourne||Saint-Émilion (ITT)||31||Individual time trial|
|21||18/07/21||Chatou||Paris – Champs-Elysees||112||Plat|