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UCI confirms new Tour de France dates for 2021, avoiding Olympic Games conflict

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) signs autographs for fans at the 2019 Natourcriterium Aalst post-Tour criterium
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The UCI announced the dates of the 2021 road season, confirming the Tour de France will start one week earlier to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games elite men's road race.

The 2021 Tour de France will begin on June 26 and end on July 18, six days before the men's road race scheduled for July 24. 

The Tour de France was originally due to begin on July 2 in Copenhagen, Denmark, but the final weekend of the Tour overlapped with the men's road race. 

The date conflict came as a result of the unprecedented postponement of the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Copenhagen is also hosting the European football championships in the last week of June and declined a request from the Tour organisers Amaury Sport Organisation to move their Grand Depart up a week.

The ASO have been in negotiations with the Danish organising committee to postpone the Grand Depart there until 2022 and with Brittany to hold the start of the 2021 Tour de France.

The Vuelta a España will also move up a week, starting August 14 and ending September 5, while the Clasica San Sebastian remains on August 31, one week after the Olympic Games men's road race.

The Vuelta "will be held a week earlier than its usual dates, to allow for a better transition between the Vuelta, the European Championships (announced for the weekend of 11-12 September) and the UCI Road World Championships," the UCI said in a statement.

Notably absent from the 2021 WorldTour calendar is the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, which was cancelled for 2020, the Presidential Tour of Turkey and Tour of California, which went on a 'hiatus' this year.
 
"The organisers of the Amgen Tour of California (United States) and the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain) have not requested to register their event on the 2021 UCI WorldTour calendar," the UCI said. 

"The UCI regrets the departure of these two events and will work with concerned parties towards trying to ensure the return to the leading series for men’s professional road cycling of events taking place in these two regions that are important for high-level cycling."

2021 WorldTour
1/19/21-1/24/21Santos Tour Down Under
1/31/21Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
2/21/21-2/27/21UAE Tour
2/27/21Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite
3/6/21Strade Bianche
3/7/21-3/14/21Paris-Nice
3/10/21-3/16/21Tirreno-Adriatico
3/20/21Milano-Sanremo
3/22/21-3/28/21Volta Ciclista a Catalunya
3/24/21AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne
3/26/21E3 BinckBank Classic
3/28/21Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields
3/31/21Dwars door Vlaanderen - A travers la Flandre
4/4/21Ronde van Vlaanderen - Tour des Flandres
4/5/21-4/10/21Itzulia Basque Country
4/11/21Paris-Roubaix
4/18/21Amstel Gold Race
4/21/21La Flèche Wallonne
4/25/21Liège-Bastogne-Liège
4/27/21-5/2/21Tour de Romandie
5/1/21Eschborn-Frankfurt
5/8/21-5/30/21Giro d'Italia
5/30/21-6/6/21Critérium du Dauphiné
6/6/21-6/13/21Tour de Suisse
6/26/21-7/18/21Tour de France
7/31/21Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa
8/9/21-8/15/21Tour de Pologne
8/14/21-9/5/21La Vuelta ciclista a España
8/15/21EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg
8/22/21Bretagne Classic - Ouest-France
8/30/21-9/5/21BinckBank Tour
9/10/21Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
9/12/21Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
10/9/21Il Lombardia
10/14/21-10/19/21Gree-Tour of Guangxi