The eighth La Course was originally going to be taking place on the route of stage two of the Tour which took in two passages of the Mûr de Bretagne but local elections have meant that the race had to be moved to the opening stage of the Tour de France.
The race used to take place on the Champs Élysées on the final stage of the Tour de France but the race has since ventured around the country taking in varying terrain with last year's race seeing Britain's Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) taking the win ahead of then-defending champion Marianne Vos (then CCC-Liv) and now Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Demi Vollering (then Parkhotel Valkenburg).
The finishing circuit is designed to try and bring the same outcome as the originally planned route around the Mûr de Bretagne with a tough 14km circuit taken on three times with the short climb of the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups at 3km with an average gradient of 5.7 per cent.
The steepest gradient comes right at the end of the climb with a kick of 14 per cent that will likely be the launchpad for any attacks.
La Course, which is a UCI Women's WorldTour event, was originally added to the calendar by ASO, the Tour de France organisers, in 2014 to answer the growing demand for a women's Tour.
The first three editions consisted of this kermesse-style race in Paris. In 2017, the event progressed to comprise of two days - the second being a 'pursuit' style handicap time trial.
Handicapping the world-class women's peloton in the style of a local league Thursday night race didn't go down so well, so in 2018 it was back down to just one day - held 48-hours after the final stage of the Giro Rosa.
The one day format remains for 2021 but it is unclear whether the race will continue as well as the Tour. The Tour de France Femmes has officially been announced the be taking place just after the men's race in 2022 over eight stages.
The women's Tour de France was also announced to be partnered with Zwift as the main sponsor as the race looks to build towards a big future in women's racing.
Joining the newly reinstated WorldTour race of RideLondon, which is now a stage race for the women as well as the Battle of the North taking place in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, it should be an exciting season in 2022.
La Course 2021 route, Brest to Landerneau (107.7km)
La Course 2021 is going to be a war of attrition on the sharp climbs that pepper this shark-tooth profile. At least 25 noticeable climbs on the profile with 14 climbs likely to cause issues in the bunch.
As well the route being vicious is also has a hilltop finish to really sap the legs right at the end of the day. Albeit, a very short day. But the fact that the race is short means that there should be explosive racing, even without riders like Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) who will skip La Course and the Giro Rosa to focus on the Olympic Games.
La Course 2021 TV guide
The race will be covered on Eurosport, GCN+ and ITV4 in the UK with Eurosport Player and GCN+ offering uninterrupted coverage from stage to finish.
La Course 2021: Past winners
2014: Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2015: Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Rabobank-Liv Women Cycling Team
2016: Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle-High5
2017: Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott
2018: Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott
2019: Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv
2020: Lizzie Deignan (GBr) Trek-Segafredo
La Course 2021 start list
PATIÑO Paula Andrea
VAN ANROOIJ Shirin
VAN DER BREGGEN Anna
VAN DEN BROEK-BLAAK Chantal
Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling
CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia
FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
LUDWIG Cecile Uttrup
DE GAST Belle
VAN BOKHOVEN Julia
A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team
SPEROTTO Maria Vittoria
Valcar-Travel & Service
PIERGIOVANNI Federica Damiana
ARZUFFI Alice Maria
Massi-Tactic Women Team
ESPÍNOLA Agua Marina
SANCHEZ HERNANDEZ Marta
Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DALLA VALLE Elisa
Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling
LE BAIL Elodie
Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.
Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.
When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.
He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.
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