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Tour de France 2021: The 21 stages revealed

ByRoborto Sykes

Nov 2, 2020

Barely more than a month after Tadej Pogacar’s resounding victory, there is already talk of the Tour de France. This Sunday, the organizers of the Grande Boucle put an end to the suspense by unveiling the contours of the 108th edition, which will start from Brest on June 26th. As announced last August, Brittany will replace Denmark to kick off the event but, from the first days of the race, the requirements will be there. Indeed, from Brest, the runners will follow the sea to reach Landerneau with a final for punchers. Indeed, with a 14% ramp in its first 500 meters, the Côte de la Fosse-aux-Loups will be the scene of the first fight for the yellow jersey. A fight that will resume the next day because, starting from Perros-Guirec, the peloton will cross Saint-Brieuc before joining Guerlédan and its now legendary climb to Mür de Bretagne. An ascent with slopes greater than 10% which will be surveyed twice, including the finish. After the punchers, the second part of the Tour’s passage in Brittany will be dedicated to the sprinters. Starting from Lorient, the riders will cross the bay of Quiberon then Plumelec before joining Pontivy for a massive first sprint. A scenario that could be repeated during the 4th stage with a route entirely in Ille-et-Vilaine between Redon and Fougères, where Mark Cavendish won in 2015. It will then be time to leave the Breton roads.

The chrono and the castles of the Loire before the Alps

After Brittany, Mayenne will host the Tour de France for the longest individual time trial placed in the first week since 2008. Indeed, the specialists of the solitary effort will have 27 kilometers to explain themselves, a stage capable of shaking up the general classification before reaching the Alps and “breaking the litany of the first week”, says Christian Prudhomme, guest of the show Stage 2 this Sunday. Between Tours and Châteauroux, the castles of the Loire will be in the spotlight before a probable new battle between the sprinters. On the occasion of the 7th stage, drawn between Vierzon and Le Creusot, the riders will have the right to the “longest day” since the Tour de France 2000. Indeed, there will be 248 kilometers to cover with, as a bonus, the he ascent of the Signal d’Uchon and its slopes of up to 18% to offer backpackers a chance to trap the sprinters’ teams. A very long stage which will above all bring the peloton closer to the Alps, the first major mountain range on the program. The 8th stage, between Oyonnax and Le Grand-Bornand, will offer three climbs listed with the Côte de Mont-Saxonnex, a slope of the Solaison plateau, then a series of Col de Romme-Col de la Colombière before plunging towards the line of arrival at Grand-Bornand. After missing the meeting in 2019 because of the weather, Tignes will return to the Tour de France in 2021. Starting from Cluses, the riders will pass through Sallanches then the Côte de Domancy, the site of the title of world champion in Bernard Hinault in 1980. The Col des Saisies then the Cormet de Roselend via the Col du Pré will precede the final climb to Tignes, at an altitude of 2113m.

Something new for Mont Ventoux before the Pyrenees

After a first day of rest in the Alpine resort, the sprinters will have the right of citizenship on the descent to the Rhône valley between Albertville and Valence, a stage where the wind could play its part. A calm stage which will precede the long awaited return of Mont Ventoux. But, for this Tour de France 2021, the “Giant of Provence” will be placed in an unexpected and unique setting. Indeed, after the ascent of the Col de la Liguière, the runners will climb this mythical ascent for the first time, but via Sault, a longer and less steep ascent (24.3km at 5%). After the descent to Malaucène, the route will again circle Mont Ventoux to join Bédoin for the more traditional ascent (15.7km at 8.8%) but the finish line will not be drawn at the top. Indeed, it will be necessary to make a success of a technical descent before raising the arms to Malaucène. A generous program that will be followed by the crossing of the Gorges de l’Ardèche between Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux and Nîmes then a stage which will lead the peloton towards Carcassonne on a flat stage which should offer a new opportunity to shine to the candidates for the green jersey. It will then be time to take back the direction of the mountain to rub shoulders with the Pyrenees. A fairly calm start between Carcassonne and Quillan, which organizes the oldest post-Tour criterium every year. The Col de Montségur, the unprecedented Col de la Croix-de-Morts then the Col de Saint-Louis will offer terrain suitable for backpackers.

A detour in Andorra before a final explanation in the Bordeaux vineyards

It is then that, for the only time in this edition, the peloton will leave the roads of France. Departing from Céret and after passing through Prades, the city of Prime Minister Jean Castex, the Montée de Mont-Louis then the Col de Puymorens will come before the roof of the Tour that will be the Port d’Envalira which will allow runners to enter the Principality of Andorra. The Col de Beixalis will be the last difficulty before the finish in Andorra la Vella, where the Tour de France will stop at the end of the 15th stage. A rest that will be very useful before the last two Pyrenean stages. While backpackers could appreciate the 169 kilometers between Pas de la Casa and Saint-Gaudens, which will host the Tour for the first time since 1999, the road will once again start at high altitude. Indeed, after 113 kilometers of flat during the 17th stage, the riders will follow the Col de Peyresourde then the Col de Val Louron-Azet to reach Saint-Lary-Soulan to attack the terrible climb of the Col du Portet (16km to 8, 7%). If that were not enough, the Tour de France will reconnect with Luz-Ardiden, which will host the race for the first time since 2011. Departing from Pau, which will host the Grande Boucle for the 73rd time, the riders will see the return from the Col du Tourmalet before the demanding final climb (17.1km at 7.3%). It will then be a question of returning to the Landes from Mourenx to reach Libourne and the Bordeaux vineyards. An exceptional setting which will host the last great explanation with a 31-kilometer time trial drawn through the vineyards to reach Saint-Emilion. Once this last solitary effort has been swallowed, the peloton will take a plane to reach Chatou, in the Yvelines, in order to conclude in style this 2021 edition of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées. A Grande Boucle which will offer 3,383 kilometers of racing, including 58 against the clock, which is making a comeback during this edition.

From June 26 to July 18, 2021
1st step : Brest – Landerneau (187km)
2nd step: Perros-Guirec – Mûr-de-Bretagne (182km)
3rd step: Lorient – Pontivy (182km)
4th step: Redon – Fougères (152km)
5th step: Changé – Laval (27km individual time trial)
6th step: Tours – Châteauroux (144km)
7th step: Vierzon – Le Creusot (248km)
8th step: Oyonnax – Le Grand-Bornand (151km)
9th step: Cluses – Tignes (145km)
Rest in Tignes on Monday July 5
10th step: Albertville – Valence (186km)
11th step: Sorgues – Malaucène (199km)
12th step: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Nîmes (161km)
13th step: Nîmes – Carcassonne (220km)
14th step: Carcassonne – Quillan (184km)
15th step: Céret – Andorra la Vella (192km)
Rest in Andorra on Monday July 12
16th step: Pas de la Casa – Saint-Gaudens (169km)
17th step: Muret – Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet (178km)
18th stage: Pau – Luz-Ardiden (130km)
19th step: Mourenx – Libourne (203km)
20th step: Libourne – Saint-Emilion (31km individual time trial)
21st step: Chatou – Paris Champs-Elysées (112km)