The final podium of the Tour de France (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
The 2021 Tour de France kicks off with a Grand Départ in Brest, Brittany, before meandering around the Celtic region.
The race in 2021 is almost back to it’s original place on the calendar, only it is a week or two earlier than normal so that they do not clash with the Olympics.
The first two stages aren’t the simple sprint days, especially with stage two finishing atop the 2km climb of the Mûr de Bretagne, which maxes out at 14 per cent in gradient.
The race will then start to head south east as it winds itself around the region of Brittany, it leaves the region for a stage five individual time trial between Changé and Laval Espace Mayenne over a 27km course.
The 2021 Tour de France route
The 2021 Tour de France then makes it’s way accros the centre of the country with some classic long flat days in the summer sun before heading into the Alps.
Upon leaving the Alps they head to Provence and Mont Ventoux on stage 11, but not for the usual summit finish, instead the riders will tackle the climb from two sides before finishing at the bottom in Malaucène.
After that the race goes over to the Pyrenees and a brief dip into Andorra before another individual time trial on stage 20.
The race will then take to its traditional finish in Paris along the Champs-Élysées.
The 2021 edition will have six mountain stages with three summit finishes, eight flat stages, five hilly stages and two time trials, covering a total of 3,383km.
Tour de France 2021 classifications
Tadej Pogačar and Sam Bennett on the podium at the Tour de France 2020 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
The standard classifications and jerseys will once again feature: yellow jersey for the overall classification, polka-dots for the mountains classification, green for the points classification and white for the best young rider classification.
A combativity prize will be awarded to the most aggressive rider each day, while a super-combativity prize will be awarded to a rider at the end of the Tour.
Bonus seconds will once again be distributed on the finish line with 10, six and four seconds available to each of the first three across the line on each stage.
Bonus sprints are also available at the top of some key climbs in an attempt to create more aggressive and exciting racing.
Tour de France 2021 teams
All 19 of the 2020 WorldTour teams are at the Tour de France, we expect the French Pro Continental teams to take the wildcard places, this would be Arkéa-Samsic, Total Direct Energie and B&B Hotels-Vital Concept.
Alpecin-Fenix should also be joining as they lead the UCI ProTeam standings. The leader of this gets an automatic invite to all WorldTour races in the next season.
Tour de France 2021 general classification riders
Defending champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and his fellow countryman, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) are almosts certainly going to be on the start line.
Question marks hang over 2019 winner, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) as he still suffers with his back injury.
This may open up an opportunity to some of Ineos’ other leaders for next year with 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz, 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné winner Dani Martínez and more.
Chris Froome has set his sights firmly on this race with his new team, Israel Start-Up Nation, as he looks to get a record equaling fifth overall title.
Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) again will be looking for redemption once again after falling out of GC with injury for the second year running on 2020.
Tour de France 2020 sprinters
Sprint finish at stage seven of 2019 Tour de France (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) will return to try and win an eighth green jersey having taken a record seventh in 2019.
Sagan was stopped from his eighth green win by Irishman, Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), who put in a superb performance along with two stage wins, including stage 21 in Paris.
Pure sprinter, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) will look to possibly challenge Sagan in the fight for green but will be focusing on getting as many stage wins as possible.
Cofidis’ sprinter Elia Viviani will be looking to end the French team’s duck at the Tour. The team are now in the WorldTour and are mainly focussed on the sprinting side of racing. Italian Viviani, will hope he can provide wins the team so desperately craves at its home race.
Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) is probably the rider who could challenge Sagan the most for green if he was allowed to go for it. While not really down as a sprinter and more of an all-rounder, Van Aert has proven he has an electric turn of speed, winning a stages at the Tour and Dauphiné, as well as one-day races Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche.
With Alpecin-Fenix surely racing the Tour, all eyes will be on Mathieu van der Poel to see how he performs against his arch rival, Van Aert, as well as Sagan and Bennett in the fight for green.
Tour de France 2021 on TV
In the UK, you’ll be able to catch the race live on Eurosport, ITV and S4C – and each channel will have an evening highlights package, too.