A double ascent of Mont Ventoux midway through next year’s Tour de France will be the centrepiece of the 108th edition of the Tour de France, the route of which was announced by race director Christian Prudhomme last night.
There’s no summit finish on the mountain known as the Géant du Provence on the 199-km Stage 11 from Sorgues to Malaucène – but the peloton will have to ride up it from two of the three possible approaches.
It won’t be the first climb to be tackled twice from different sides in next year’s race, either – that distinction goes to the Mûr-de-Bretagne in the finale of Stage 2, which could see battle joined for the overall on the second of four days in Brittany that form the Grand Départ.
There’s the prospect of further gaps in the General Classification on Stage 5, which features the first of two individual time trials – the second comes in the vineyards near Bordeaux on the penultimate day – while there is an early visit to the Alps on the second weekend, including a summit finish at Tignes.
After the Ventoux stage come two tailor-made for the sprinters, arriving respectively in Nîmes and Carcassonne – two of eight opportunities for bunch finishes next year – before the race heads into the Pyrenean foothills with a medium mountain stage a first-time finish in Quillan, home to France’s oldest post-Tour criterium.
That’s one of five successive tough stages in and around the Pyrenees, including two summit finishes as well as a visit to Andorra, before the race heads to the Bordeaux area for that potentially decisive closing individual time trial ahead of the final day in Paris.
La Course by Le Tour de France, meanwhile, won this year in Nice by Trek-Segafredo’s Lizzie Deignan, will again be a one day race, taking place in Brittany on Sunday 27 June.
It won’t, however, follow the same parcours as the men’s race, however, with the women having to tackle the Mûr-de-Bretagne no fewer than six times on a five-lap circuit with a total distance of 130 km.
Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday, the mass participation event L’Etape du Tour will take place in and around Nice on the same route originally planned for the 30th edition this summer before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Tour de France 2021 route
Stage 1 – Saturday 26 June
Brest to Landerneau – 187 km (Hilly)
Stage 2 – Sunday 27 June
Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne (Guerlédan) – 182 km (Medium-mountain)
Stage 3 – Monday 28 June
Lorient to Pontivy – 182 km (Flat)
Stage 4 – Tuesday 29 June
Redon to Fougères – 152 km (Flat)
Stage 5 – Wednesday 30 June
Changé to Laval – 27 km (Individual time trial)
Stage 6 – Thursday 1 July
Tours to Châteauroux – 144 km (Flat)
Stage 7 – Friday 2 July
Vierzon to Le Creusot – 248 km (Medium mountain)
Stage 8 – Saturday 3 July
Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand – 151 km (Mountain)
Stage 9 - Sunday 4 July
Cluses to Tignes – 145 km (Mountain)
Rest Day – Monday 5 July
Stage 10 – Tuesday 6 July
Albertville to Valence – 186 km (Flat)
Stage 11 – Wednesday 7 July
Sorgues to Malaucène – 199 km (Mountain)
Stage 12 – Thursday 8 July
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes – 161 km (Flat)
Stage 13 – Friday 9 July
Nîmes to Carcassonne – 220 km (Flat)
Stage 14 – Saturday 10 July
Carcassonne to Quillan – 184 km (Medium mountain)
Stage 15 – Sunday 11 July
Céret to Andorra la Vella (Andorra) – 192 km (Mountain)
Rest Day – Monday 12 July
Andorra la Vella (Andorra)
Stage 16 – Tuesday 13 July
El Pas de la Casa (Andorra) to Saint-Gaudens – 169 km (Medium mountain)
Stage 17 – Wednesday 14 July
Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col de Portet) – 178 km (Mountain)
Stage 18 – Thursday 15 July
Pau to Luz Ardiden – 130 km (Mountain)
Stage 19 – Friday 16 July
Mourenx to Libourne – 203 km (Flat)
Stage 20 – Saturday 17 July
Libourne to Saint-Émilion – 31 km (Individual time trial)
Stage 21 – Sunday 18 July
Chatou to Paris (Champs-Élysées) – 112 km (Flat)
You can watch the whole of last night’s presentation in the video below.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.