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Tour de France 2021

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Tour de France 2021 map

The route of the 2021 Tour de France  (Image credit: ASO)

We already know that the 2021 Tour de France will start in Brest, in Brittany, on Saturday, June 26, having originally been scheduled for a Grand Départ in Copenhagen, Denmark. With the Euro 2020 football championships having been rescheduled for next summer, overlapping with the Tour, and with some games set to be played in Copenhagen, it's been decided to postpone the Danish start until 2022, with Brittany stepping in as host.

Although the official unveiling of the full 2021 route won't happen until October 29 in Paris, French newspaper Le Télégramme leaked what it claims to be the opening four stages of next year's race in mid-October.

It reported that stage 1 will take the riders between Brest and Landernau, to the east, followed by a second stage that will apparently go from Perros-Guirec on the northern coast to a summit finish at Mûr de Bretagne.

Stage 3 on the Monday will then start down in Lorient and head inland once more to Pontivy, while the fourth and final stage in Brittany will reportedly go from Redon to Fougères, before the race heads off towards the mountains and a finish in Paris on Sunday, July 17.

Brest will host a stage of the Tour for the 32nd time, and was last used for the Grand Départ in 2008, when the race was won by Spain's Carlos Sastre. Lining up there as the defending champion next year will be UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogačar, although both he and his rivals will already be eager to find out where the race will take them next summer. All will be revealed in Paris on October 29.

Race history

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) is the reigning champion, having overhauled his Slovenian compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) in the penultimate time trial at last year's race. The 21-year-old became the race's second-youngest winner after Firmin Labot back in 1904.

Pogačar broke a Ineos/Sky stranglehold on the race, who had won seven of the previous eight Tours de France with Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and four-time winner Chris Froome. Vincenzo Nibali, then riding for Astana, was the other man to break the British squad's dominance with a win in 2014.

The Tour wins record is currently held by four men, with Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain all on five titles. Froome will look to equal them this year with his new team, Israel Start-Up Nation.

2020 was also the year which saw the rare occasion of Peter Sagan getting beaten in the battle for the green jersey. He lost out to Sam Bennett after a race-long battle, but still holds the all-time green jersey rankings with seven wins in nine participations. Erik Zabel's six jerseys lie second, ahead of Sean Kelly's four.

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