Tour de France 2021: Full route details revealed

The race will start in Brittany and remain largely in France for health and logistical reasons

2 November 2020
By Hannah Thompson

More details on the Tour de France 2021 race route have been revealed, after it was confirmed that next year’s event would begin in Brest, Brittany - instead of the previously-planned Copenhagen, Denmark.

The event - the 108th in the race’s history - has already been rescheduled so it will not clash with the postponed Olympic Games in July 2021.

The departure for the race had previously been planned for Copenhagen, Denmark, in July - but scheduling clashes due to Covid-19 this year have already seen it confirmed to begin in Brest, on June 26.

It will arrive in Paris on July 18, 2021.

Read more: Tour de France 2021: First four stages in Brittany revealed

Read more: Tour de France 2021 will depart from Brest, not Copenhagen

The 2021 race - with a total length of 3,383 kilometres - will then pass through Châteauroux, Indre; and over to the Alps; before moving south to Nîmes in the Gard; then to the Pyrenees and Andorra; and back up to Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux; before finishing in the capital a day later.

Here is what we know so far.

Brittany begins

The first four stages will be here, including the Mûr-de-Bretagne section, which has already been part of the Tour de France route three times in 10 years (2011, 2015, and 2018).

Fewer mountains

Due to the departure in Brittany, viewers will have to wait longer before the riders reach the real mountain areas. After the 2020 route was criticised by some as too-mountainous, the 2021 route will be less so. Some have seen this as good news for “sprinters” but less so for “climbers”, who were tested to the limit last year.

The Alps will welcome just two stages in 2021. These will include the Colombière pass, and the stage between Cluses and Tignes.

There will be four stages in the Pyrenees, including the climbs of Tourmalet, Peyresourde, Portet, as well as those in Andorra.

Mont Ventoux - twice

The race will visit Provence between the Alps and the Pyrenees, which will include the formidable mountain climb of Mont Ventoux.

For the first time in Tour de France history, riders will be required to climb the infamous slope twice, before ending the stage in the foothills, at Malaucène, on July 7.

Time trials

There will be two timed “chrono” stages in 2021, in contrast to the single stage held in 2020. The first will be between Changé and Laval; the second between Libourne and Saint-Emilion, the day before the final stage to Paris.

France only (almost)

This race will be largely national, remaining within France for the entire route, except for a short hop into Andorra. There will be no stages in Spain, Italy, or Switzerland; and the Denmark departure has been postponed until at least 2022.

This is largely due to the Covid-19 crisis and the organisational limits imposed as a result.

French favourite

French cycling champion Julian Alaphilippe is set to take part in the 2021 race, wearing a rainbow jersey. Each year for the past three years, he has won at least one stage - two in 2018, two in 2019, and one in 2020.

He is predicted to have similar success in 2021, perhaps even on the infamous Mûr-de-Bretagne section near the start.

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Tour de France 2021: First four stages in Brittany revealed

Tour de France 2021 will depart from Brest, not Copenhagen

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Masks and no selfies: Tour de France 2020’s coronavirus plan

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