Tour de France

Tour de France coverage from Cycling Weekly, with up to date race results, rider profiles and news and reports.

Tour de France 2021 podium
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dates: June 26 to July 18 2021
Stages: 21
Length: 3,383 km
Grand Départ: Brest, France
Paris, France
TV coverage (UK):
Eurosport, GCN+, ITV4

Key info: Tour de France 2021 route | Tour de France start list | How to watch the Tour de France | Past winnersJerseys | Key climbs | Who's out

Tour de France 2021 - What's happened so far?

Stage 21: Chatou to Paris, Champs-Élysées (108.4km)

It was not a record-breaking day for Mark Cavendish as he was boxed in by Jasper Philipsen and stage winner Wout van Aert with the British rider finishing in third on the day. 

However, he does win the points jersey as well as taking four stage wins throughout the race.

Tadej Pogačar and the other GC riders made it around the final stage safely with the Slovenian star Pogačar taking his second Tour title in as many years, this time by a huge margin in comparison to 2020. He took the win over Jonas Vingegaard by 5-20 and over seven minutes to third overall, Richard Carapaz.

Pogačar also took the mountains standings and the best young riders jersey for the second year in a row. 

Bahrain Victorious won the team standings with Franck Bonnamour taking the Super Combatif prize.

Stage 20: Libourne to Saint-Émilion (30.8km ITT)

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) sealed his second overall victory at the Tour de France, finishing safely on the stage 20 individual time trial to Saint-Émilion.

The yellow jersey finished eighth on the stage, 57 seconds behind the day's winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who claims his second stage victory of this edition after winning stage 11's double ascent of Mont Ventoux.

Van Aert's team-mate Jonas Vingegaard confirmed second place in GC with his third place finish on the stage, while Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) will take the third spot on the podium in Paris on Sunday.

Stage 19: Mourenx to Libourne (207km)

We left the mountains behind but the winning nation didn't change as another Slovenian took another stage win with Matej Mohorič taking his second stage win of the race from a large break.

The Slovenian champion went solo from a group of over 20 riders and held them off all the way to the line in Libourne. Mark Cavendish did not get his chance to sprint for his record-breaking 35th stage win at the Tour de France so will need to put all his focus on the final stage to Paris.

Stage 18: Pau to Luz Ardiden (129.7km)

The final mountain stage of the 2021 Tour de France was won by the race leader, Tadej Pogačar after putting in an incredibly powerful kick that lasted for 550 metres to drop all his rivals to claim his third win of the race.

He managed to put a couple more seconds into his closest rivals of Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz and now sits just under six minutes ahead of them in the general classification.

Not only that, but the race leader also takes the mountains classification which he ripped away from Wout Poels. This is looking like the second year in a row that the Slovenian will take those three classification into Paris on stage 21. He just has a sprint stage and the time trial to get through before he can safely say he's successfully retained his Tour title.

Stage 17: Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col du Portet) (178.4km) 

The 17th stage of the 2021 Tour de France was one of the toughest of this year's race, featuring three categorised climbs including the summit finish on the brutal Col du Portet.

Despite a formidable effort from the early breakaway, the stage win came from the general classification contenders, as yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar outsprinted Jonas Vingegaard and Richard Carapaz to win the day and extend his lead, with just one more mountain stage remaining in the Tour.  

Stage 16, El Pas de la Casa to Saint-Gaudens (169km)

The Tour de France resumed with a tough mountain stage in the Pyrenees following the second and final rest day.

A huge fight for the breakaway ensued in the rainy conditions, with Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) eventually soloing away from the escape with over 40km to go to take his maiden Grand Tour victory.

The GC remained the same with two summit finishes to come on stages 17 and 18.

Stage 15: Céret to Andorra-la-Vella (191.3km)

Sepp Kuss was the strongest in the mountains from the breakaway as he won the stage solo ahead of Alejandro Valverde who came in on his own in second behind.

The break was mostly about the king of the mountains competition with MIchael Woods losing his jersey to Wout Poels regaining the polka dots as we head into the second rest day of the race.

Behind, in the peloton, the GC riders did try and few attacks but the only rider to lose major time was the man who was in second overall, Guillaume Martin, as he slips back down to ninth overall once again.

Stage 14: Carcassonne to Quillan (183.7km)

Bauke Mollema took his first stage win at the Tour de France in four years as he went on a solo move away from the rest of the breakaway who battled it out for second.

In the break, Guillaume Martin didn't battle for the stage win or the stage podium but he did move up to second overall. However, Tadej Pogačar is still over four minutes ahead in the yellow jersey going into the Pyrenees and the highest point of the race on stage 15.

Stage 13: Nîmes to Carcassonne (219.9km)

Mark Cavendish rode to an historic 34th stage victory at the Tour de France, equalling the record of all-time stage victories by the great Eddy Merckx. Cavendish survived the long, hot day on the rolling roads of southern France to take the stage 13 victory, his fourth win of the 2021 race.

Tadej Pogačar safely retained yellow as the races heads into the Pyrenean mountain stages at the weekend.


A day that we all thought would be carnage in the crosswinds but after a brief flirtation in the wind with a couple of echelons but it then came back together again with a 13 man break going away.

It was Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe) who was the strongest out of the break and kicked solo on the final hill before riding to the line ahead of Imanol Erviti (Movistar) and Harry Sweeny (Lotto-Soudal).

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) led the peloton across the line for three points in the green jersey ahead of Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) with yellow jersey of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) finishing safely in the bunch.


Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took a superb victory on stage 11, soloing away from the break on second of two ascents of the legendary Mont Ventoux. No-one could match the Belgian champion as he powered away and held a phenomenal effort over the climb and down the descent to take the win.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), despite briefly being dropped by Van Aert's team-mate Jonas Vingegaard on Ventoux, now holds an advantage in the GC of over five minutes after second overall Ben O'Connor (Ag2r Citroën Team) was dropped on the early part of the second ascent of Ventoux.

Stage 10: Albertville to Valence (190.7km)

A slow start with just two riders heading up the road. But there were a couple of skirmishes from the peloton to try and get away but Deceuninck - Quick-Step were all over it, not allowing anything else to get away. 

The intermediate sprint saw all Mark Cavendish's rivals have a go but the Manxman himself sat back and saved energy.

The other sprint teams tried to drop Cavendish on the final climb but they couldn't get the pace high enough to dislodge him.

The crosswinds then came into play, but there wasn't quite enough of it to cause major issues so there is no change in GC.

Into the final 3km and Deceuninck - Quick-Step took full control. One by one they did their huge efforts to lay the way for a Cavendish sprint. The lead-out was done to perfection and Cavendish took his third win of this year's race and his 33rd in his career at the Tour.

Now just one behind the record number of wins at the race.

Stage nine: Cluses to Tignes (144.9km)

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) tightened his grip once more on the yellow jersey of the Tour de France 2021, distancing the other GC hopefuls on the first summit finish to Tignes to extend his lead.

Stage winner Ben O'Connor won solo from the breakaway, but also propelled himself from 14th to second overall, and now sits 2-01 behind Pogačar with 11 stages remaining.

Monday will see the race's first rest day before racing resumes on Tuesday with stage 10.

Stage eight: Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand (150.8km)

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) dominated on the stage where he dropped all but three riders in the entire race as he attacked from the GC group and catching everyone from the break but one rider.

Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) was the man who made it to the finish line first with his arms in the air as he celebrated his victory which he later dedicated to his late grandfather who passed away just before the Tour.

Pogačar also went into the yellow jersey by 1-48 over Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) who put in a superb ride with former yellow jersey, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) finished over 21 minutes behind Teuns with him dropping to 23rd in the overall standings.

Stage seven: Vierzon to Le Creusot (249.1km)

The longest stage of the 2021 Tour de France, and the longest one in 21 years, would see the riders tackle 249.1km with a lumpy finish to Le Creusot.

Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) was the eventual winner, going solo from an elite breakaway group that also contained yellow jersey Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).

Van der Poel retains his overall lead, with Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) moving up to second after also getting in the breakaway.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) was the biggest loser among the GC contenders, losing contact with the peloton on the penultimate climb of the day and shedding over three minutes to his key rivals.

Stage six: Tours to Châteauroux (160.4km)

It's been 10 years since the Tour de France has been to Châteauroux, but nothing seems to have changed as it saw the same winner with the same celebration. Mark Cavendish took his 32nd career victory at the Tour in fine style beating Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) to the line.

That win puts Cavendish two wins behind the record holder and all-time-great, Eddy Merckx.

Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) gets another day in yellow after putting in an impressive kick in the leadout for his sprinters.

The day was fast and saw multiple dangerous Classics riders go up the road, but it was brought back with just two riders eventually going clear. The sprinters will now have to get over the mountains in the coming days before their next chances on the south coast of France.

Stage five: Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne (27.2km ITT)

What was expected to be a routine Tour de France time trial turned into anything but, on a lumpy course that looked suited to pure TT riders.

Many expected Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) to lose the race lead and either Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) or Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to secure the stage.

But as it turned out, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) was absolutely remarkable, smashing his GC rivals and securing the stage victory in the process.

Meanwhile Van der Poel somehow held on against the odds and kept the yellow jersey for another day, in a thrilling and unpredictable race against the clock. 

Stage four: Redon to Fougères (150.4km)

A much needed quiet day in the saddle for the riding wounded left from stages one and three with a rider protest dominating the early kilometres.

After that a two man break went away with Pierre-Luc Périchon (Cofidis) joining Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal). 

Behind the two leaders, Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) took a potentially valuable 15 points in third place at the intermediate sprint after a perfect lead-out by Michael Mørkøv.

Van Moer attacked and dropped Périchon in the final 15km and he quickly pulled the gap to the peloton from 20 seconds to over a minute. This caused a dramatic scramble behind including Julian Alaphilippe leading Mørkøv and Cavendish.

Alpecin-Fenix put in a near perfect lead-out but Jasper Philipsen kicked too early and Cavendish managed to get by the Belgian in the final sweeping bend and held off Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) to take his 31st Tour de France stage victory.

Stage three: Lorient to Pontivy (183km)

What should have been a simple day ending in a bunch sprint ended up being one of the most chaotic stages in recent Tour memory.

Several crashes marred the stage with Primoż Roglič, Geraint Thomas, Jack Haig and Miguel Ángel López the four general classification riders to crash. Roglič lost over a minute to some GC rivals, but didn't suffer any broken bones. Thomas dislocated his shoulder but will also continue. For Haig, however, his crash meant the end of his race.

The sprint that did ensue was won by Tim Merlier, Alpecin-Fenix's second triumph in as many days, but the win was overshadowed by another late crash that resulted in stage favourite Caleb Ewan fracturing his right collarbone. 

Stage two: Perros-Guierc to Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan (183.5km) 

Riders were still licking their wounds as they rolled out of Perros-Guierc for the start of stage two, continuing their way east through Brittany towards the Mûr-de-Bretagne.

Mathieu van der Poel attacked on the first ascent of the Breton Alpe d'Huez, gaining eight bonus seconds. Looping around for another jaunt uphill, others chanced their arm before the Dutchman attacked again, this time leaving putting proper distance between himself and the rest of the peloton, taking enough time across the line to snatch the yellow jersey off Julian Alaphilippe's shoulders.

Stage one: Brest to Landerneau (197.8km) 

The opening stage of the 2021 Tour de France was anything but relaxed, as the day was characterised by two huge crashes in the final 50km, one of which was caused by a spectator stepping too far into the road to try and get on TV. 

But on the sharp uphill finish in Landerneau, it was Julian Alaphilippe who was untouchable, riding away 2km from the line and staying away from the likes of Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar chasing behind. 

Tour de France 2021 race information

The Tour de France in 2021 will be starting with its Grand Départ in the Brittany region, with the opening stage beginning in Brest before winding its way around the Celtic region.

The 2021 race is very nearly back in its usual calendar slot, though has been scheduled to start a couple of weeks earlier this year due to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games, with the organiser keen on the two events not clashing.

Unlike other editions of the race, the 108th running of the Tour will not begin with a time trial or a few flat stages. The organiser of the race, ASO, has chosen to use the tricky terrain of the Bretagne landscape to test the riders early on.

The opening two days on the bike have lots of tricky, short, and steep climbs with stage two the focus of this, as the riders will have to tackle the famous Mûr de Bretagne twice.

After that, the race will start its journey down towards the mountains, but stop off on stage five for the first of the two individual time trials. A 27.2km course from Changé to Laval will, if it hasn't been already, really shake up the GC and show us who are the early frontrunners for the title.

The 2021 Tour de France route

The 2021 Tour de France route

After the time trial, the 2021 Tour de France will head across the country on long transition days that have become synonymous with the first week of the Tour de France.

It then heads straight into the Alps after missing out the Vosges mountain range. The race doesn't stick around in the giant peaks of the Alps for long and is only there for three days, with just two finishes in the mountains there.

When the peloton leaves the Alps, it will head into Provence, but that doesn't mean that the 2021 Tour de France has left the climbing behind as the race heads to the 'Giant of Provence', Mont Ventoux. 

To add yet more horror to an already daunting task, the peloton will have the climb the lonely mountain twice on stage 11 before descending to a finish in Malaucène.

Another classic long transfer stage from Nîmes to Carcassonne will then bring the race to the third mountainous area of the race, with the Pyrenees beckoning. This includes five days in the mountains and the highest peak of the race when they make a trip into Andorra.

There's also a ride up and down the Col du Tourmalet before heading to the ski resort of Luz Ardiden for the final day of racing in the mountains.

Then it's one more flat day that will likely be a stage for the breakaway or sprinters if they and their teams have survived the mountains. The competitive race for the GC then concludes with a huge time trial on stage 20. Riders face a 30.8km test against the clock from Libourne to Saint Emilion to decide the outcome of the race.

The 2021 Tour de France will then head to its traditional conclusion on the city cobbles of the Champs-Élysées in Paris to bring the race to a close.

In the 2021 Tour de France, there are six mountain stages that include three summit finishes, five hilly stages, eight flat days, and two tests against the clock in the time trial. This brings to total kilometres to ride to 3,383km.

Tour de France 2021 classifications

Tadej Pogačar and Mark Cavendish on the Tour de France podium

Tadej Pogačar and Sam Bennett on the podium at the Tour de France 2020 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Much like every year in recent memory, the jerseys and classifications are the yellow jersey for the overall leader, green jersey for the leader in the points standings, polka-dot jersey for the mountain classification, and the white jersey for the best young rider.

Along with the jersey prizes, there is the prize for the most combative rider of each stage with the winner wearing a red number on the following day. This is awarded each day with a Super Combativity award decided by a jury at the end of the race for the most active rider throughout the entire event.

There is also a team classification where the time of the first three riders from each team is put together to create a single time, it is then done in a similar way as the individual general classification.

Plus, there are plenty of bonus seconds up for grabs at the race with 10, six and four bonus seconds available at the end of each stage for the first three riders as well as bonus sprints that are dotted throughout the race on key climbs to try and spice up the racing.

Tour de France 2021 teams

Every one of the 19 2021 WorldTour teams will be riding the Tour de France along with French Pro Continental teams Arkéa-Samsic, Team TotalEnergies and B&B Hotels-Vital Concept.

They are joined by the Belgian squad, Alpecin-Fenix, who won a place on all WorldTour races after finishing top of the Pro Continental standings in 2020. 

This means that we will get to see the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Tim Merlier at the Tour de France for the first time. Merlier has already proven his Grand Tour credentials with a stage win at this year's Giro d'Italia, but we are yet to see Van der Poel at a Grand Tour.

Tour de France 2021 general classification riders

Reigning champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) will be on the start line in Brest along with second place in last year's race and fellow Slovenian, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

Both have hardly raced this season with Roglič not being at a race since Liège-Bastogen-Liège whereas Pogačar has raced recently for the first time since Liège, which he won, with an appearance at the Tour of Slovenia, which he also won.

It is clear that the only team likely to challenge the Slovenian riders is Ineos Grenadiers as they bring a superbly strong team that seems to cover all eventualities.

Their main focus will be British rider and former Tour winner Geraint Thomas, with 2019 Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz the co-leader. This year's Critérium du Dauphiné winner Richie Porte is also in the team as is 2020 Giro winner, Tao Geoghegan Hart, giving the British squad multiple options depending on form and what happens on the road.

There is a multitude of other riders who could potentially challenge with Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), Miguel Ángel López (Movistar), Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation), Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo), and many more besides.

Chris Froome is in the Israel Start-Up Nation team but he is not going as leader. That title goes to Woods, but the four-time winner Froome is going to the race as the team's road captain as they seek to use his experience in the race.

Tour de France 2021 sprinters

Mark Cavendish wins stage four of the 2021 Tour de France

Mark Cavendish wins stage four of the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will once again come to the Tour de France to try and extend his record of most green jersey wins to eight after failing to do so last year when he was denied by Irishman Sam Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick-Step). Bennett should return to the race this year despite struggling with injury in the build-up.

One rider who is expected to take at least one win is the dominuative Australian sprinter, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) who won twice at the Giro in May. His big goal for 2021 is to win at least one stage at every Grand Tour and become only the fourth rider ever to do so in the same year.

A rider who, if allowed more freedom, could be a huge danger for the green jersey is Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), but the Belgian star has not raced since the Amstel Gold Race back in April, so it is unknown where his form will be.

Alpecin-Fenix has two huge stars in the sprint with Tim Merlier and Mathieu Van der Poel both making their Tour debuts. Merlier is riding his second Grand Tour of the season having started the Giro d'Italia where he won a stage.

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and Iván García (Movistar) are just a few other names expected to be riding.

Tour de France 2021 on TV

If you are in the UK then you will be able to watch every stage live from start to finish on Eurosport, ITV and S4C with each offering highlights too. There will be uninterrupted coverage on Eurosport Player online and on the GCN+ app.

Tour de France 2021 route

For more information on the 2021 Tour de France route, head to our route page where you can find all the race profiles and in-depth descriptions.

1Sat June 26BrestLanderneau197.8kmHilly
2Sun June 27Perros-GuirecMûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan183.5kmHilly
3Mon June 28LorientPontivy183.9kmFlat
4Tues June 29RedonFougères150.4kmFlat
5Weds June 30ChangéLaval Espace Mayenne27.2kmTime Trial
6Thurs July 1ToursChâteauroux160.6kmFlat
7Fri July 2VierzonLe Creusot249.1kmHilly
8Sat July 3OyonnaxLe Grand Bornand150.8kmMountain
9Sun July 4ClusesTignes144.9kmMountain
Rest dayMon July 5Tignes
10Tues July 6AlbertvilleValence190.7kmFlat
11Weds July 7SorguesMalaucène198.9kmMountain
12Thurs July 8Saint-Paul-Trois-ChâteauxNîmes159.4kmFlat
13Fri July 9NîmesCarcassonne219.9kmFlat
14Sat July 10CarcassonneQuillan183.7kmHilly
15Sun July 11CéretAndorra-la-Vella191.3kmMountain
Rest dayMon July 12Andorra
16Tues July 13Pas de la CaseSaint-Gaudens169kmHilly
17Weds July 14MuretSaint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet178.4kmMountain
18Thurs July 15PauLuz Ardiden129.7kmMountain
19Fri July 16MourenxLibourne207kmFlat
20Sat July 17LibourneSaint-Emilion30.8kmTime trial
21Sun July 18ChatouParis (Champs-Élysées)108.4kmFlat

Tour de France past winners in the last 10 years

2010: Andy Schleck (Lux)
2011: Cadel Evans (Aus)
2012: Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
2013: Chris Froome (GBr)
2014: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
2015: Chris Froome (GBr)
2016: Chris Froome (GBr)
2017: Chris Froome (GBr)
2018: Geraint Thomas (GBr)
2019: Egan Bernal (Col)
2020: Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
2021: Tadej Pogačar (Slo) 

How does the Tour de France work?

The Tour de France is one of three races that are three weeks long, known as the Grand Tours, alongside the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España. The Tour is the best known and arguably the most prestigious.

It is the second of the three races in the calendar with the Giro taking place in May, the Tour usually in July, and the Vuelta in August and September.

The Tour, like all Grand Tours, takes on varying terrain with flat days for sprinters, hilly days for punchers and mountains for the climbers and GC riders, along with time trials, so that a winner of the race has to be able to perform on all types of road.

The main prize in the race, known as the general classification, is based on time with the overall leader wearing the yellow jersey. The race leader and eventual winner is the rider who has the lowest accumulated time over the 21 days of racing. Riders can win the Tour de France without winning a stage, as Chris Froome did in 2017. Time bonuses of 10, six, and four seconds are given to stage winners though, creating incentive for those general classification riders to chase individual victories and lower their overall time.

In 2020 it took race winner Tadej Pogačar 87-20-05 to complete the race with the second-place rider overall 59 seconds slower. That continues all the way down to the last place rider, which was Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal) who finished over six hours behind at a time of 6-07-02.

The white best young rider's jersey is worked out in the same way but only riders under the age of 26 are eligible for the jersey.

The polka-dot mountains jersey and the green points jersey are based on a points system and not time. The only reason time would come into account would be if riders are tied on points, then it would go to who is the best placed in the general classification.

The team classification is based on the general classification times of the first three riders of a team on each stage. The time of those three riders is added up and put onto their team's time, creating a GC list much like in the individual classifications. The leading team get to wear yellow numbers and helmets on each stage.

The final classification available is the combativity prize. This is decided by a race jury or, in more recent years, Twitter. This takes place just before the end of each stage and often goes to a rider from the breakaway who has put in a daring performance or attempted to liven up the stage by attacking. The winner of the combativity award gets to wear a special red race number on the following day's stage.

There is a final prize added to this with the Super Combativity prize being awarded on the podium in Paris. This is decided in a similar fashion to pick out the most aggressive, entertaining, and daring rider of the whole three weeks. Again, usually going to a rider who has featured regularly in the breakaway.

Stage winners do not wear anything special the day after apart from getting a small yellow jersey to stick on their number on their bike, this can be replaced if they win multiple stages.

Teams used to come to the race with nine riders but the UCI, cycling's governing body, decided that nine riders from each team was too dangerous and dropped it to eight, however more teams are riding now riding.

How long is the Tour de France?

The Tour de France takes place over 23 days with 21 of those days race days. The riders get two days of resting; they usually fall on the second and third Monday of the race.

This year's race is 3,383km long which is 2,102 miles, which is around the distance from New York City to the middle of Utah or almost Berlin to Madrid.

Road stages can range from anything around 100km to something approaching 250km, sometimes more. This year the shortest road stage is the last stage around the streets of Paris at 108.4km with the longest being 249.1km on stage seven, Vierzon to Le Creusot.

Road stages often take around four to five hours with the longer days sometimes nudging over seven hours.

Time trials are always much shorter. Team time trials have long since gone out of fashion in the world of road racing so individual time trials are the main focus these days. 

In 2021 the Tour has two individual time trials for the riders to tackle, one on stage five which is 27.2km long from Changé to Laval, and the second on stage 20 over 30.8km from Libourne to Saint-Emilion.

It is a whole day of coverage for the spectators, but for a rider it is not yet known how long it will take to ride these distances, but it should be around 30-40 minutes.

When does the Tour de France start?

The 2021 Tour de France will start on June 26 in the region of Brittany, France. It will begin in the city of Brest before making its way around the country and finishing back in Paris three weeks later. 

However, the race is usually two weeks later in the calendar. The race had to be moved so that it did not clash with the road cycling, track cycling and mountain biking events in the Olympic Games that start in late July. 

This has meant that multiple riders who are targeting medals in Tokyo are racing at the Tour, meaning the usual top notch line-up is present for the 108th edition of the race.

Last year's event took place in a completely different slot in the calendar and was, oddly, the first Grand Tour of the year after huge delays and restructure to the calendar was needed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This meant that the race took place between August 29 and September 20.