Tour de France 2021: route of stage 1, overview, forecast and departure time from Brest to Landernau

The Tour de France begins with a busy weekend in the sporting landscape, with French eyes on their all-star team at Euro 2020 and a last 16 draw with their Swiss Alpine neighbors on Monday. With Wimbledon and Formula 1 on the calendar and an Olympic Games on our doorstep, race director Christian Prudhomme knew there was only one way for the tour to grab the headlines, and so it is no coincidence that the first stage is perfectly suited to the very skills of a puncher listening to Julian Alaphilippe.

This journalist followed the carnival of a 2019 tour when Alaphilippe grabbed the yellow jersey at the start of the race and kept it for two weeks. The French public came to the side of the road to revel in a very hot July when this charismatic bundle of power rose from its seat and embraced the pain, desperate to stay in yellow for one more day, and another, and another. They even allowed themselves to dream that this specialist in classics could perhaps really cling across the Alps and the Pyrenees.

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Egan Bernal eventually caught up with Alaphilippe as the road stiffened, but this injected a much needed local love into the Tour and Prudhomme practically admitted while preparing for the start of this race that he hopes to make something similar out of it. of the Grand Départ. , thanks to a small advantage at home. “He is not a Grand Tour rider, but he proved to us in 2019 that he could still wear the yellow jersey for a long time,” Prudhomme said recently of Alaphilippe. “There, this tour is less mountainous than in previous years, there are a certain number of arrivals which are not up but downhill, and he is a remarkable descender. He is one of the best puncheurs in the world and the tour starts with two stops in Brittany for the puncheurs […] He is the only Frenchman who can allow us to dream. “

This opening stage in Brittany is certainly more of a challenge than usual on the first day, with a coastal section that could bring chaotic cross winds as well as five categorized climbs, culminating in the finish uphill on the Côte de la Fosse aux Loup which will eliminate all pure sprinters and play the role of specialists for a day like Alaphilippe. For overall contenders like Geraint Thomas and Richard Carapaz of Ineos Grenadiers, reigning United Arab Emirates Tour champion Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, second last year, avoiding trouble is the watchword here. .

Alaphilippe is not the only one to ogle yellow jersey, of course. Mathieu van der Poel is making his first Grand Tour and will be an exciting addition to the peloton on days like this. Much like Van der Poel, Wout van Aert is another 26-year-old cyclo-cross world champion and he’s the kind of bumpy profile that could make the most of his versatile abilities. And what about Sonny Colbrelli? He recently won the Italian road racing title and his Bahrain Victory team have recently gotten into the habit of winning.

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Prediction

It might be an itinerary designed for Alaphilippe, but we want Van der Poel to produce something special on his very first Grand Tour stage: a late solo charge to catch yellow.

Start time

The stage starts just after 11 a.m. (12 p.m. local time) and should end just after 4 p.m. in the UK.

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