The 2021 Tour de France sets off from Brest, Brittany, on Saturday 26 June, and two punchy finishes appear straightaway. Stage 1 is set to finish in Landerneau and stage 2 in Mûr de Bretagne, a place on a hilltop. The finishing straight climbs for 2 kilometres at 6.9%, while the first kilometre goes up at almost 10%. The ascent made its first Tour de France appearance in 2011 with a Cadel Evans victory. Since then Alexis Vuillermoz (2015) and Daniel Martin (2018) were also successful in Mûr de Bretagne.
The 5th stage will be an ITT of 27 kilometres before stage 6 travels to Châteauroux, where Mark Cavendish took the spoils in 2011.
La Grande Boucle ventures into the Alps in the second weekend. Saturday’s stage would go to Le Grand Bornand, a ski resort where Alaphilippe soloed to victory in 2018. The Col de la Colombière – 7.5 kilometres at 8.5% – will be the last climb before a descent of almost 15 kilometres to the line.
Reports claim that the day before the first rest day will serve a summit finish in Tignes. The 2019 Tour de France would have finished there, but landslides in Val d’Isère decided differently. The Tignes climb is almost 23 kilometres long.
The 10th stage travels from Albertville to Valence, host of the Tour de France twice in the past six years. On both occasions the fast men had it their way – André Greipel in 2015, Peter Sagan in 2018.
That Wednesday takes in the Mont Ventoux without finishing atop the Beast of the Provence. Instead, the race will finish down in Malaucène, which lies at the foot of the mountain.
The race then heads over to the Pyrenees with finishes in Carcassonne, where Magnus Cort won from the breakaway in 2018, and Quillan, just shy of the high mountains that the riders penetrate that Sunday with a finish in Andorra la Vieille.
The first day of the final week of action will include the Port de Lers, Col de la Core and Portet d’Aspet before a finish down in Saint-Gaudens.
Bastille Day is set to serve the third Pyrenees test with a race over the Port de Balès, Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Azet-Val Louron and a summit finish at the Col du Portet. This is a 16 kilometres climb at 8.7%, which was last used in 2018, when Nairo Quintana soloed to victory.
The final mountainous test of the 2021 Tour de France finishes uphill in ski resort Luz-Ardiden.
The final GC battle would come in the form of a second time trial on the penultimate day of action. This one adds up to 31 kilometres.
Obviously, the last stage goes to Paris.