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La Course by Le Tour de France - Live coverage

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It’s an early start for the women this morning. The race starts at 8:20am CEST.

The women have had to set their alarms even earlier this morning, with many of them staying in hotels over an hour away from the start. Let’s hope they had an early night last night.

Defending champion Lizzie Deignan will be racing, albeit without her right-hand woman Elisa Longo Borghini who is staying in Italy to train got the Giro Rosa. She is excited about her form, however.

Another notable absence is Annemiek van Vleuten, who has chosen to skip La Course and the Giro d’Italia Donne to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Among the riders to watch is Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope. She told CyclingNews that she is 'super excited' to be racing today alongside her teammate and newly-crowned French national champion Evita Muzic.

And they're off! 108km to go

It's a fairly flat first 25km with just one climb, the 4th category Côte de Trébéolin at km 8.6. The riders don't reach the first ascent of the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups until km 65.7

The riders are still rolling through the neutral section, 3km until the official start.

Omer Shapira was caught on the wrong side of some bollards, however she has quickly rejoined the bunch. 2km to go until the official start

Rear wheel puncture for Audrey Cordon-Ragot. She has had a wheel change and will be able to get safely back in the bunch before the race starts properly

Nearly time for the official start. If you're wondering what riders to watch, here's 8 contenders.

106.5km to go

The race has officially started and it's immediately aggressive with lots of attacks as riders try to establish a break

This could be the last edition of La Course as the Tour de France Femmes replaces the event in 2022. Marianne Vos was instrumental in bringing about the race and will be one to watch today. She said ahead of today that it will be a "tough race".

A group of around 12 riders has a small gap

The group are brought back and it's Roxanne Fournier of SD Worx who attacks next

99km to go

The pace is still high as riders try to force a break, nothing is sticking yet, though.

Small crash at the back of the groups leaves riders from Bizkaia Durango, Drops-Le Col and Stade Rochelais Charente Maritime caught out. They are back up and awaiting mechanical assistance.

Anouska Koster of Team Jumbo-Visma is driving the pace at the front of the peloton after the first climb of the day

The riders are now descending to Daoulas

Team Arkea Samsic are keen to animate the race and get a rider in a break, they have instigated multiple attacks already

Confirmation that Noémie Abgrall took the one point available at the top of the first QOM, Côte de Trébéolin

Amandine Fouquenet of Team Arkea Samsic is back on the front of the peloton again looking to ramp up the pace and drive a break

A big attack from Chantal van den Broek Blaak who has Anouska Koster on her wheel - the peloton are strung out behind but there is no gap yet

Van den Broek Blaak and Koster now have a small gap. 91km to go.

90km to go

All together

A group of riders have a small gap with Chantal van den Broek Blaak driving the pace

Attack from Ceratizit-WNT closed down by Emilia Fahlin of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope and Anouska Koster of Team Jumbo-Visma

Cedrine Kerbaol of Team Arkea Samsic gets a small gap

The lone leader, Kerbaol has a gap of 47 seconds on the peloton

76km to go

Cedrine Kerbaol has a lead of 1'15 now with 77km to go as the peloton let her dangle out there for now. There's no real commitment from the main field with Jumbo Visma posting just one rider on the front.

The rolling terrain is tough going but Cedrine Kerbaol is in the big ring as we see a few counter attacks from the peloton. That's caused the gap to drop down to 1'06.

FDJ are on the move now with Brodie Chapman on the move.

Winner of the 2020 Race Torquay one-day race, Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitains Futuroscope)

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Don't forget it's not too late to check out our Riders to Watch piece for the race, right here.

SCHLEIZ GERMANY MAY 27 Elisabeth DeignanArmitstead of United Kingdom and Trek Segafredo during the 34th Internationale LOTTO Thringen Ladies Tour 2021 Stage 3 a 1165km stage from Schleiz to Schleiz Mechanical Problem Mechanic ltlt2021 lottothueringenladiestour womencycling on May 27 2021 in Schleiz Germany Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Chapman has been brought back but these constant attacks have meant that the gap to the lone leader is down to just 50 seconds. Trek go this time with Audrey Cordon putting in a blistering attack. 

She has the peloton on her wheel but the entire peloton have been strung out by Audrey Cordon. The gap is down to 35 seconds with 73km to go.

Clara Honsinger attacks from quite far back but that move is quite telegraphed and riders are quickly on her. Trek go again though with 72km to go and the gap is just 35 seconds.

71km to go

Cedrine Kerbaol would be happy to see a small group come up to her at this point but that's unlikely at this stage. Her gap is down to just 30 seconds.

Cedrine Kerbaol has about 250m on the main field, which just isn't enough, even though the gap has gone back out to 34 seconds. She takes a drink but now Rivera is marking an attack on the front of the peloton.

Noemie Abgrall has gone on the attack now but she only has about 100m. The 21-year-old was recently 13th in the French nationals, so clearly has some form. 

67km to go and Noémie Abgrall is hunting down our lone leader with the bunch around 20 seconds further back. 

We're closing in the first of four ascents of the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups. 

Don't forget that our complete start list is right here.

62km to go

Noémie Abgrall has been caught by the bunch and Chapman goes once more as we see a few more DSM riders move up towards the front. 62km to go and the gap for Cedrine Kerbaol is just 32 seconds. She's having a tremendous ride though.

There's a two rider counter attack clear right now as we hit another undulating section on the route. Cedrine Kerbaol has 27 seconds. 

The two riders clear are from Top Girls Fassa Bortolo and Valcar Travel and Service.

The gap is closing and Cedrine Kerbaol is about to have company from one more rider. 

The pace is high in the bunch and a few riders are starting to struggle and have been dropped.  

60km to go

Cedrine Kerbaol and Elena Pirrone have just a handful of seconds on the peloton but there's been a huge acceleration from the peloton. Pirrone seems reluctant or unable to take much of a turn.

The bunch then decide to take their foot off the gas and that allows the two leaders to extend the gap back out to 28 seconds.

The two leaders are sharing the workload now and Pirrone is taking a long pull on the front. She's decent against the clock - eighth in the recent Italian nationals - and is putting her power to good use. 54km to go.

Rally have just fired a rider up the road but the two leaders still have 23 seconds with 54km to go. The Rally rider has been joined by three more riders but their gap is only just a few meters. 

Anna Henderson, Nikola Noskova, Heidi Franz, Sabrina Stultiens were the riders in that move but they've been brought back, and our two leaders have just 14 seconds with 53km to go. A few teams are starting to think about their positioning though as we head towards the climbs. 

The break  are 10km from the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups. It's a 3km climb with an average gradient of 5.7 per cent. A few more Trek jerseys are on the front of the peloton now. They like making a race hard from far out. 

 Lara Vieceli has gone on the attack and she has 18 seconds on the bunch. The two leaders out front have managed to extend their advantage to 46 seconds with 48km to go.

This morning on the start line.

LANDERNEAU FRANCE JUNE 26 The peloton at start in Brest during the 8th La Course By Le Tour De France 2021 a 1077km race from Brest to Landerneau Cte De La Fosse Aux Loups 176m Landscape LaCourse LeTour TDF2021 UCIWWT on June 26 2021 in Landerneau France Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The bunch are about to hit the climb now and it's 14 per cent just to start with. 

Movistar are leading the bunch with Trek. 

It's still Trek, and specifically Tayler Wiles, doing the work on the front of the peloton with 44km to go.

But there's been a massive kick from SD Worx as up ahead Elena Pirrone goes alone. 

The pace settles down at the front of the peloton. BikeExchange, Brown, Roy are present. So too is Deignan for Trek.

We're down to less than 50 riders in the peloton and we're only on the first ascent. 

Noemi Ruegg has been dropped, Karlijn Swinkels too.

Elena Pirrone is the only rider left out front and she's just about to crest the climb for the first time with a gap of 34 seconds. She has 850m to go.

Elena Pirrone leads over the top of the climb with a gap of 28 seconds. 

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Brand has just put in a vicious dig with 38km to go. About 10 riders have gone with her.

Pirrone is about to be caught by the Brand group. 

Niamh Fisher-Black is in the break too. 

Mikayla Harvey is also present and she's on the front right now. Most of the major teams have made this move. Who will chase? 

Jumbo have a rider up the road and they're just marking moves at the moment in the bunch. 

Brand and Anna Henderson have some strong words, I think because the Jumbo rider isn't going to work. 

This large move has about 25 seconds now. 

Anna Henderson has moved to the back of the break and Movistar are leading the chase with 35km to go.

Ane Santesteban is there and so too is Marta Bastianelli.

The riders in the move are Brodie Chapman, Mikayla Harvey, Liane Lippert, Ana Santesteban, Marta Bastianelli, Valerie Demey, Marta Lach, Silvia Persico, Elena Pirrone, Brand and Henderson.

Canyon have two riders in this move and are looking good but Jumbo Visma are in a dilemma. Movistar have to chase, that's clear. 

It's Rally who are leading the pack at the moment with 32km to go.

Elise Chabbey is also in the break. 

The leaders have 26 seconds but there are a few passengers and that's really not going to help their cause. 

And with 30km to go and on the second climb Anna van der Breggen has accelerated. 

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is on the world champion's wheel. 

Niamh Fisher-Black knows what's coming and she's attacked from the break. 

The acceleration from Anna van der Breggen has split the peloton to pieces. 

And the early break has been caught by a group of the main favourites. Deignan is there. Demi Vollering too. Niamh Fisher-Black continues to lead this group which is about 20-strong right now.

1.4km to go on the climb and Deignan is second wheel as SD Worx stretch the group out. They're trying to get rid of the defending champion and Vos. 

The pace slows again. Deignan can't mark every move and Chapman takes off with 28km to go. Harvey chases the FDJ rider down. Then Demi Vollering attacks. 

Ruth Winder takes off, just as the leaders crest the summit for a second time. Grace Brown is on her wheel. Eight riders have made this split.

Winder, Fisher-Black ,Chapman, Labous, Harvey, Brown, and Henderson are in this move with 25km to go.

Most of the riders in the move are on their radios right now, asking for updates and instructions. 

22km to go

A full list of the riders in the break: Ruth Winder, Mikayla Harvey, Anna Henderson, Niamh Fisher Black, Grace Brown, Sofia Bertizzolo, Brodie Chapman, Juliette Labous, Leah Thomas, Silvia Persico.

They have 35 seconds. 

The Tour de France starts in about an hour or so. Here's our How to Watch article for the race.

Kristen Faulkner and Tatiana Guderzo are also in this move and the gap is about to 53 seconds. Just 20km go... 

If the gap goes out to 1'30 or so it could be game over for the riders in the main field. 

18km to go

A full list of the riders in the break:

Ruth Winder, Mikayla Harvey, Anna Henderson, Niamh Fisher Black, Grace Brown, Sofia Bertizzolo, Brodie Chapman, Juliette Labous, Leah Thomas, Silvia Persico, Kristen Faulkner, Tatiana Guderzo and Marta Lach. 


They have 1'01 on the bunch and we're about to start the climb for the third and penultimate time. 

It's a really strong break to be far but will the main favourites be happy to see the race ride away from them? The gap is 1'10.

It's 1'19 now. BikeExchange are moving up just ahead of the climb. 

The 11 leaders hit the foot of the climb with 17km to go.

The gap is holding at 1'16 with the main field now climbing too.

Harvey has attacked from the break. It's more of an acceleration but Chapman has been dropped right away.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig has attacked with 16km to go. AVDB is right on her wheel. 

Vos is there too and Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

The gap is still at 1'03.

Bertizzolo has attacked from the break. 

The French road champion Muzic has attacked from the AVDB group. This race is wide, wide open.

The main group of favourites has swelled to about 25 riders again but the riders in the lead group still have 1'01 with 15km to go.

The gap between the groups is down to 50 seconds with 800m still to climb. Bertizzolo is looking really good as she leads the break.

Stephens is still in the bunch, and Rivera. 

Evita Muzic still has a gap on the AVDB group but she's not really catching the leaders, who are still at 48 seconds. 

Clara Koppenburg riding on the front for Rally. She's the only Rally rider from her team in the peloton.

Just 11km to go now and Evita Muzic is slowly pegging the group back. The gap is at 43 seconds but the peloton are at 53 seconds. It's all going to come down to this final climb.

Brown takes a turn on the front for the break but it looks like Evita Muzic is being reeled in by what's left of the peloton. 

Jumbo Visma setting the pace as we head towards the final climb to the finish.

Live coverage from stage 1 of the Tour de France has just started. Follow all the action, right here.

Evita Muzic has been caught as Jumbo Visma turn the screw. Just 7km to go.

The peloton are at 35 seconds.

Jumbo have three riders on the front and the chase is working, with the gap at 23 seconds. We're about 3km from the climb. 

Just 19 seconds for the leaders. They're going to be caught.

The road is about to kick up and Brand has attacked but Jumbo are right on here. The break has been caught with 4.4km to go.

Jumbo are looking to set this all up for Vos. Can she finish this off?

3.9km to go and Jumbo lead.

Roy takes over on the front for BikeExchange. 

Roy is leading Brown and Spratt to the foot of the climb. 3km to go.

Cromwell is the first to attack and that's a massive move.

Brown is forced to chase. Then Vos and AVDB.

It's 11 per cent at this point.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma goes over the top and now leads the race. 2.5km to go.

She has a small gap.

But Brown is hunting her down and the move is over.

We have four leaders. Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Brown, AVDB, and few more riders have made it across. Including Vos. Deignan has work to do. 2.1km to go an Katarzyna Niewiadoma sets the pace.

Van der Breggen just sits in third wheel. 

No Deignan.

1.6km to go and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig has attacked.

Van der Breggen closes the gap with Brown. We have three leaders with 1.4km to go.

They're not working, so this could all come back together.

Demi Vollering, Marianne Vos, Avdb, Kasia Niewiadoma, Liane Lippert, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Soraya Palladin, Grace Brown are the riders at the front with 1km to go.

800m to go and the gradient slowly eases. Vollering looks good.

Vos is second wheel. 

The pace slows and Deignan is coming back.

Van der Breggen goes.

Vollering is well placed.

Vos second wheel.

Vos opens up her sprint.

Vollering comes around and she wins La Course by Le Tour de France.

Great leadout from Van der Breggen but Vollering finished it all off with a world class sprint. 

Vos was third in the end with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig second.

Let's hear from today's winner:

“It almost went wrong because Vos was going all the way to the right and I was boxed in a bit. Anna made the speed and forced Marianne to go already. Then I could go in Marianne’s slipstream and come over her,” Vollering said of the finish.

“I was really looking forward to the race this morning, but I was not expecting to win. It was an awesome race and gives me a lot of confidence. And now that I won La Course, I am looking forward to the women’s Tour de France next year,” she added.

Deignan has also spoken at the line too:

“It almost went wrong because Vos was going all the way to the right and I was boxed in a bit. Anna made the speed and forced Marianne to go already. Then I could go in Marianne’s slipstream and come over her,” Vollering said of the finish.

“I was really looking forward to the race this morning, but I was not expecting to win. It was an awesome race and gives me a lot of confidence. And now that I won La Course, I am looking forward to the women’s Tour de France next year,” she added.

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