Tour de France 2021 route: Stage-by-stage guide

The 2021 Tour de France will take place June 26 to July 18. It will be the 108th edition of race. The Grand Depart will take place in Brittany. 

Tour de France 2021 preview

The full route of the 2021 Tour de France was announced on the evening of November 1, 2020.

The Grand Depart, which had been scheduled for Copenhagen, was moved to Brittany due to the crazy 2021 sporting schedule that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. The rescheduled 2021 European football championships has games in Denmark in June. Bringing the Tour de France back inside French borders, therefore, was seen as a sensible precaution.

The Grand Depart will instead take part in Copenhagen in 2022.

The 2021 Tour de France dates have also been brought forward a week to avoid clashing with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

2021 official Tour de France route map (click for large PDF version)

2021 Tour de France route map

Total riding distance: 3383km

Specific info on each stage and more detailed maps are also usually published online each May and in the official race program. We'll post links to it when it's released.

We have this page for Tour de France road closure information, which we also update as information comes to hand (usually not from around May onwards).

See here for accommodation near the route (it will also be progressively updated throughout 2021).

MORE USEFUL INFO TO COME: Official 2021 Tour de France Race Guide

Stage 1: Saturday, June 26 – Brest to Landerneau, 187km

The 2021 Tour de France will return to Brittany for 4 stages, starting in Brest. Given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers undoubtedly see Brittany as a 'safe pair of hands'. Some 170 stages of the Tour have been held in Brittany since 1906 and 33 towns and cities have been hosts, so there is plenty of TDF experience in the region. It's also a region steeped in Tour de France folklore, with Brittany being the home of French cycling heroes Lucien Petit-Breton (Tour de France winner in 1907 and 1908), Jean Robic (1947), Louison Bobet (1953, 1954 and 1955) and Bernard Hinault (1978 and 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985).

Tour de France 2021 Brittany map

If you are planning on being in Brest, the team presentations will take place on Thursday, June 24, most likely in front of the town hall as they were in 2008.

Stage 1 includes a punchy short climb to finish the stage on the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups.

Tour de France 2021 stage 1 Cote de la Fosse aux Loups

Stage 2: Sunday, June 27 – Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne Guerlédan,182km

A return to Mûr-de-Bretagne – not once, but twice. It's not the Ventoux (see stage 11) but it's a mythical local climb with a long Tour de France history.

2021 Tour de France stage 2 Mur-de-Bretagne

Today will also be the women's race, La Course by Tour de France.

Stage 3: Monday, June 28 – Lorient to Pontivy, 182km

The first chance for the sprinters. Flat, flat, flat.

Stage 4: Tuesday, June 29 – Redon to Fougères, 152km

Another day for the sprinters. British cycling fans will remember Mark Cavendish winning here in 2015.

Stage 5: Wednesday, June 30 – Changé to Laval, 27km (ITT)   

The Tour returns to the Mayenne after more than two decades with the earliest individual time trial since 1988. This is one of two individual time trials this year, the other being over a similar distance on stage 20. 

Stage 6: Thursday, July 1 – Tours to Chateauroux, 144km

A flat stage to suit the sprinters through the vineyard region of the Loire, heading southish from the mighty river. Anyone who has ridden through here will attest to its beauty, though these 144km will be a bit faster than most people ride when passing through Tours on the EuroVelo 6.

Stage 7: Friday, July 2 – Vierzon to Le Creusot, 248km

The longest stage of the Tour includes a climb never used by the TDF before – Le Signal d'Uchon climbs 5.7km at 5.7%.

Vierzon to Le Creusot Tour de France 2021 stage 7

Stage 8: Saturday, July 3 – Oyonnax to Grand Bornand, 151km

Into the mountains!

Le Grand Bornard is back – so too is neigbouring Col de la Colombiere, which offers a tasty final climb at 7.5km at 8.5%. Cote de Mont-Saxonnet and Col de Romme provide the starters.

2021 Stage 8 TDF Oyonnax-Grand Bornand

Stage 9: Sunday, July 4 – Cluses to Tignes, 145km

Tignes is back after the snow storms and landslides of 2019 wrecked its showcase stage finale, Bernal snatching yellow from Alaphilippe on a shortened stage.

Stage 9 2021 TDF Cluses to Tignes

Rest day: Monday, July 5 – Tignes

Stage 10: Tuesday, July 6 – Albertville to Valence, 186km

From the Alps to the banks of the Rhone River at Valence. It won't be a leisurely stage like cycle tourist usually enjoy when they venture to the Via Rhona bike route. Expect a sprint finale.

Stage 11: Wednesday, July 7 – Sorgues to Malaucène, 199km

Ventoux is back! Two ascents of Mont Ventoux via two different routes. First, the 'easy' way from Sault: 24.3km at 5%. Then the 'classic' Bédoin climb: 15.7km at 8.8%.

It could be worse – it could be all three!

2020 Tour de Frace Stage 11 Sorgues to Malaucène, 199km

Clmbing Ventoux from Bedoin

It can be a lonely old climb from Bedoin to the summit of the Ventoux, especially on a hot day in the middle of summer. The ride up through the dreaded forest can seem never-ending, only to emerge into a moonscape to see the elusive weather station only a dot in the distance.

The top of the Ventoux was closed to traffic for most of 2020 as work was undertaken to repave the road and get it in top condition for the Tour de France's return.

2021 signals the first time the Giant of Provence has featured since windy weather scuppered a summit finish in 2016 - the same year *that* motorbike calamity took place, resulting in this strange sensation:

Say what you want about the Ventoux, but whether you are an amateur rider crawling up its sides so slowly that your Garmin autopauses (who? me?), or a Tour de France spectator, it never – never – disappoints.

Stage 12: Thursday, July 8 – Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nimes, 161km

Back to the sprinters and a bunch finish as the parcours edges closer to the Pyrenees via the ancient Roman city of Nimes, which is now a fairly regular Tour town.

Stage 13: Friday, July 9 – Nimes to Carcassonne, 220km

This is one for the helicopters and the local tourist boards as the TV cameras drift over the iconic turrets of the old city of Carcassonne. Expect another sprint finish if you can take your eyes off the scenery.

Stage 14: Saturday, July 10 – Carcassonne to Quillan, 184km

Into the Pyrenees with three fairly gentle but not insignificant ascents to warm those GC legs up. This area is a beautiful and often under-rated (and under-cycled) corner of the Pyrenees.

2021 Tour de France Stage 14 Carcassonne to Quillan

Stage 15: Sunday, July 11 – Céret to Andorra, 192km

The only border being crossed in this year's Tour is the one marking France from Andorra on stage 15. This stage also has the highest col of the entire parcours, the Port d’Envalira's Souvenir Henri Desgrange, which comes in at a mighty 2408m. The route finishes in Andorra ahead of a rest day.

2021 Tour de France Stage 15 Céret to Andorre-La-Vieille

Rest day: Monday, July 12 – Andorra

Stage 16: Tuesday, July 13 – Pas de la Case to Saint-Gaudens, 169km

One for the breakaway riders.

Stage 17: Wednesday, July 14 – Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet, 178km

This is a tough day, with the stage taking in the Col du Peyresourde and the Col de Val Louron-Azet before finishing on the Col du Portet.

Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan Col du Portet TDF 2021

Stage 18: Thursday, July 15 – Pau to Luz Ardiden, 130km 

The mythical Tourmalet (17.1km at 7.4%) leads to the climb to Luz Ardiden, whose 13.3km at 7.4% are the final mountain miles of the Tour.

Stage 19: Friday, July 16 – Mourenx to Libourne, 203km

Staes 19 and 20 are personal for us at Freewheeling France as they are roads local to us – and the Tour rarely comes this close to us. Libourne, where the mighty Dordogne river meets the river Isle, has pipped its big sister Bordeaux as this year's stage town. Libourne has invested a lot of money in recent years in its development, converted te riverfront into a pedestrian promenade and supporting local restaurants and cafes to liven up the city. 

This is the first of two stages in the heart of some of the word's most famous – and beautiful – wine country. Beds among the vineyards will be at a premium for these two days heading into the weekend, though Bordeaux city centre would be a fine base as well. It's linked to Libourne via the signposted EuroVelo 3 and to Saint-Emilion via this lovely rural route. All three are linked by local TER trains (train info here). As for all stages, I'll add accommodation options here.   

Stage 20: Saturday, July 17 – Libourne to Saint-Emilion, 31km (ITT)

A time trial through the vineyards of the wonderful Pomerol to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Saint-Emilion. Expect lots of helicopter shots of rolling vineyards and Roman ruins if you're watching at home.

Stage 21: Sunday, July 18 – Chatou to Paris Champs-Elysées, 112km


Bonus seconds

Bonus points will be up for grabs at the end of each regular stage, giving the first three riders 10, 6 and 4 seconds.

Bonus points

Bonus points will be up for grabs at the summits of 6 climbs, handing the first three riders 8, 5 and 2 seconds.

Stage 2: Mûr-de-Bretagne (first passage)
Stage 7: Signal d’Uchon
Stage 8: Col de la Colombière
Stage 11: Mont Ventoux, second passage
Stage 14: Col de Saint-Louis
Stage 15: Col de Beixalis

Bike hire for watching the Tour de France

A reminder that if you need bike hire during the Tour de France you should book early. It ALWAYS sells out and it can be very hard to find quality carbon road bikes closer to the time. More info here.

2021 Tour de France Race Guide

Get the official 2020 Tour de France Race Guide: This collates all stage maps and race times into one booklet.

See here for bike-friendly accommodation


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