TVsportguide route guide: Tour de France 2021 – All stages and favourites
Follow the Tour de France 2021 – all stages, with our route guide. 21 challenging days await the riders.
We have taken a look at all 21 Tour stages to give you a complete picture of the Tour. We have also identified some favourites for each stage.
Find out everything you need to know about the 2021 edition of the world’s most famous race with our Tour Guide.
Stage 1: Brest – Landerneau, 197.8 km – 26 June
This year, too, a real chunk awaits on the first section. No less than six smaller categorised climbs have to be mastered by the riders. The finish is after the Cote de la Fosse climb (category 3), which is three kilometres long and has an average gradient of 5.7 percent.
It is expected that the escapees will not have much of a chance to prevail. Nevertheless, there will be some, adventurous riders who want to present themselves right at the beginning of the Tour and fight for the jerseys. Especially the French teams could be active here.
Favourites of the day: The escapees will most likely be caught. A much reduced peloton will sprint for victory. Good bets here would be Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, Julian Alaphilippe, Sonny Colbrelli and Alex Aranburu.
Stage 2: Perros-Guirec – Mur-de-Bretagne Guerlédan, 183.5 km – 27 June
This stage is very similar to yesterday’s. However, it’s worth noting that it includes a significantly harder climb in the form of the Mur-de-Bretagne, which has to be crossed twice.
The Mur-de-Bretagne rises by almost seven percent over two kilometres and will create a lot of separation. The last time it was featured in a Tour route was in 2018, when Dan Martin won ahead of Pierre Latour. A group of 14 riders followed, with the likes of Chris Froome, Rigoberto Urán and Romain Bardet losing time.
Favourites of the day: It’s likely that those riders who had made a good impression during the first stage could also be amongst the best today – most notably Julian Alaphilippe. Good finishers among the classification riders are Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz.
Stage 3: Lorient – Pontivy, 182.9 km – 28 June
After two days of hilly profiles, this should be the first chance for the sprinters. It still goes up and down most of the day. However, it’s not the climbs that should cause big problems for the majority of the sprinters.
Today’s favourites: As always, there is a strong sprinter field at the start of the Tour. The main favourite has to be Caleb Ewan, who has been this season’s most consistent sprinter in the big races so far. Sonny Colbrelli, Mark Cavendish, Arnaud Démare and Peter Sagan are also expected to be up front.
In addition, it will be interesting to see if Alpecin-Fenix chooses to ride for van der Poel or Tim Merlier. Our guess is that they will ride for Merlier on the flatter stages.
Stage 4: Redon – Fougères, 150.4 km – 29 June.
This is an obvious sprinter’s stage. There are no categorised climbs and the stage is just over 150km. Hence, it won’t be too big of a challenge for the sprinters to control today’s break. They will probably let three or four men go and bring them back with about 20 kilometres to go.
Today’s favourites: If there were sprinters who had trouble sitting in yesterday’s hilly terrain, they won’t have that problem today. In other words, it will be a big battle between the sprinters.
Stage 5: Changé – Laval, 27.2 km – 30 June
On the Tour de France 2021 route, there are two individual time trials. The first of these is 27.2 kilometres long and considered flat.
In terms of the classification, it will be a day of damage limitation for many. Of the favourites, Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas and Tadej Pogacar are considered the strongest time trialists.
Today’s favourites: There are a number of specialists in the peloton. Among them are Stefan Küng, Stefan Bissegger and Victor Campenaerts.
Stage 6: Tours – Châteauroux, 160.6 km – 1 July
After the time trial, it’s time for another day of sprinting. There is only one categorised climb in the form of a category 4 climb in the middle of the stage. So it’s not something that should cause the sprinters too much trouble. The length of the stage also makes it manageable to control.
Today’s favourites: Once again it will be the likes of Ewan, Cavendish, Merlier, Démare and Cees Bol to watch today.
Stage 7: Vierzon – Le Creusot, 249.1 km – 2 July
Stage 7 of the race is set to be the longest on the Tour de France route in 2021, covering almost 250 kilometres. Amongst the first 150 kilometres, there isn’t much to discuss about.
After that, there are five climbs, one of which is the category 2. The Signal d’Uchon is very tough in the last kilometre and a half. Here we reach an average of 18%. In other words, it’s a good place to launch an attack. From the summit there are 18.1 kilometres to the finish.
Today’s favourites: The length of the stage means it could well be a good day for a breakaway. However, a lot depends on who has the yellow jersey. If it is a team that intends to defend it, they will obviously only let people who are far behind in the classification go. However, teams like Ineos Grenadiers, UAE-Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma probably wouldn’t mind letting a smaller team take the jersey.
It could be a good day for riders like Omar Fraile, Benoit Cosnefroy, Michael Valgren or Tiesj Benoot.
Stage 8: Oyonnax – Le Grand-Bornand, 150.9 km – 3 July
It’s time for the first mountain stage of the Tour de France 2021. There are no fewer than three of them, all of which are category 1. They are the Cote de Mont-Saxonnex, the Col de Romme and the Col de la Colombière. The stage finishes in Le Grand-Bornand.
The big challenges start after 93 kilometres. Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult to control a breakaway. It’s also worth noting that there are bonus seconds on the Colombière summit.
Favourites of the day: We think there is a good chance of seeing a first battle between the absolute race favourites. Whoever doesn’t have the legs will struggle.
Stage 9: Cluses – Tignes, 144.9 km – 4 July
Before the riders can rest for the first time during the Tour, there’s another tough stage in the Alps. It includes the Col du Pré, the first HC climb of the Tour 21.
The finish is at the top of Tignes, which is 21 kilometres long. There are very few steep sections, but the length spiced with the many metres of elevation should guarantee an intense finish section.
Favourites of the day: this could once again be a day where the favourites race for the win. If that happens, we’ve got our eye on Movistar Team’s Miguel Ángel López, who as a Colombian should do brilliantly in these high altitudes. The same goes for Ineos’ Richard Carapaz, who may cement his leader role and put Roglic and Pogacar under pressure.
The winner could also be a climber who has lost enough time to be “allowed” to ride away. Jakob Fuglsang or Vincenzo Nibali would be riders to watch.
Stage 10: Albertville – Valence, 190.7 km – 6 July
After the Tour’s first rest day, there will be another day for the sprinters. No real challenges are on the 190 kilometres to Valence.
Today’s favourites: Which of the sprinters can use the resting day after the mountains best? If Cavendish or Merlier are tired, their respective teams may choose to saddle up and work for Davide Ballerini and Mathieu van der Poel respectively.
Stage 11: Sorgues – Malaucène, 198.9 km – 7 July
It’s time for another day in the mountains. This time, the legendary Mont Ventoux will be crossed twice. The second climb will be closer to the finish line and also harder in terms of steepness and length. It is 15.7 kilometres long, with an average gradient of 8.8 per cent. The last two kilometres are between 9 and 9.5 percent – a great moment to attack before the 22 kilometre descent to the finish in Malaucène.
Today’s favourites: This could well be a good stage for a breakaway in our opinion. Good news for riders like Warren Barguil, Ion Izagirre, Xandro Meurisse or Guillaume Martin. Depending on the time differences amongst the favourites, we may also see a fight for the yellow jersey. Ineos and Movistar are expected launch attacks during the climbs. Carapaz and Pogacar have proven to be great descenders and could win some time here, if they manage to get rid of some of the competitors.
Stage 12: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux – Nîmes, 159.4 km – 8 July
After a hard day on Ventoux, the sprinters are rewarded with another stage in their preferred terrain. As always, they will do their best to ensure that no more than three or four riders get away to leave the peloton.
Favourites of the day: it’s the usual names we’ll be picking up when it comes to stage 12. We recommend keeping an eye on who seems to have come through yesterday’s tough stage without a hitch.
Stage 13: Nîmes – Carcassone, 219.9 km – 9 July
This stage could be a bit of everything. The route is easy enough for most sprinters to hope for another sprint finish. However, it all depends on whether there is a team willing to put in the effort to control this long stage.
Therefore, it could well end up being a stage where a breakaway can go all the way.
Today’s favourites: If it ends in a mass sprint, it’s the usual suspects. From a breakaway it could be a good day for Magnus Cort, Jasper Stuyven, Mathieu van der Poel or Søren Kragh.
Stage 14: Carcassone – Quillan, 183.7 km – 10 July
If yesterday’s stage wasn’t a day for breakaways, this one definitely will be. A tough day with three category 2 climbs awaits. That makes it too hard for the sprinters and probably too easy for any classement team to attempt anything special.
There’s also a tough day in the Pyrenees the day after, so the favourites will want to save as much energy as possible, which makes the chances of a breakaway extra good.
Favourites of the day: This is probably a day that riders like Alexey Lutsenko, Dylan Teuns, Benoît Cosnefroy or Tiesj Benoot have put a big tick on. It suits riders who are usually strong in the hilly classics.
Stage 15: Céret – Andorre-la-Vieille, 191.3 km – 11 July
The Tour finally hits the Pyrenees. A day in the higher altitudes awaits, hitting the Andorran Port d’Envalira, at 2408 metres the highest point of the Tour.
It is followed by a long descent to the last climb of the day – Col de Beixalis. It’s toughest in the first three kilometres. So if a rider wants to make a difference, this is where he has to be the strongest.
Today’s favourites: This could be a good day for strong climbers like Jakob Fuglsang, Vincenzo Nibali, Julian Alaphilippe and Guillaume Martin who are all not expected to race for the general classification.
Stage 16: Pas de la Case – Saint-Gaudens, 169 km – 13 July
The Tour’s 16th stage will also be the first in the third and final week of the race. It will be another stage for a breakaway. There are a few tough climbs ahead, but the top of the last of these comes with around 33km to go. Thus, it is hardly imaginable that the classification riders will attack.
Today’s favourites: This is a good day for people who ride well uphill and also possess a good sprint. Omar Fraile, Simon Clarke, Patrick Konrad, Julian Alaphilippe, Valentin Madouas and Dan Martin come to mind.
Stage 17: Muret – Saint-Lary-Soulan, 178.4 km – 14 July
It’s time for the penultimate mountain stage of the race. That’s why it’s getting down to the wire if you want to make up time before the time trial. The first 115 kilometres are flat, but then three tough mountains await.
The last of these is the Col du Portet, which is 16 kilometres long with an average gradient of 8.7. It’s toughest in the first four kilometres and the last five.
Favourites of the day: the many flat kilometres mean that this could well be a day where the favourites will be fighting for victory. Ahead of the Tour, Pogacar, Roglic, Carapaz, Thomas, Uran, Mas and López are expected to be the strongest here.
Stage 18: Pau – Luz Ardiden, 129.7km – 15 July
If a rider doesn’t have much confidence in his strength in the time trials, this stage is the last chance to make up time. On the other hand, the short but tough stage with two HC climbs is the last hurdle for the leader in the mountains.
The first of the climbs is the legendary Col du Tourmalet. After that, the riders face Luz Ardiden again. Fans may remember the mountain for Lance Armstrong’s crash and subsequent stage win on stage 15 back in 2003.
Today’s favourites: Once again we expect the favourites to be in the hunt for victory. If Ineos don’t have the yellow jersey, we expect them to launch a large-scale attack with their strong team.
A team like Movistar will probably have to attack as well, as their main leader, López, is certainly not among the best the time trials.
Stage 19: Mourenx – Libourne, 207km – 16 July
After many hard days in the mountains, the sprinters have an opportunity to test their legs before Paris. However, it could also be another stage for a breakaway.
Today’s favourites: We don’t expect the sprinters to miss this opportunity for a stage win. We consider Caleb Ewan, Mads Pedersen and Sonny Colbrelli to be good bets for a stage win.
Stage 20: Libourne – Saint-Èmilion, 30.8km – 17 July
The Tour de France 2021 will be decided on this 30.8 kilometre flat time trial. Last year, we saw Roglic losing around two minutes and the yellow jersey to Pogacar on the penultimate stage’s time trial. Will we see another great drama?
Today’s favourites: Roglic, Thomas and Pogacar are all expected to ride good time trials. Riders like Küng, Campenaerts, Asgreen, Bissegger and Van Aert could snatch the stage win on this day.
Stage 21: Chatou – Paris Champs-Élysées, 108.4km – 18. July
The final stage of the Tour de France is, as always, a day of celebration. Things get serious when the peloton hits the streets of Paris, where the racing is on for all it’s worth, as we know it.
Favourites of the day: Three previous winners of this stage are participating this year: Caleb Ewan, André Greipel and Mark Cavendish. Of these, Ewan is the best bet for a stage winner.
Tour de France 2021 – All stages live on TV
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