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Tour de France 2021 route: When does it start and how can I follow each stage live on TV?

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Tour de France 2021 route: When does it start, and how can I follow each stage live on TV? – GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS

What is this race, and why should I care about it?

Why, it’s only the 108th edition of the Tour de France, one of the three grand tours, the others being the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta an España. Founded in 1903 by Henri Desgrange, editor of L’Auto newspaper, the Tour may not be the favorite stage race of the cycling cognoscenti. Still, it captures the imagination of the wider sporting public. As a result, the race is the biggest annual sporting event globally, with more live spectators than even the Olympics or football World Cup.

When does the Tour de France start?

The Tour de France gets underway in Brittany on Saturday, June 26, 2021, with the 187-kilometer opening stage from Brest to Landerneau.

How long is this year’s Tour de France?

The total distance of the race is 3,383 kilometers – or 2,102 miles in old money. After setting off from Brest, the Brittany region hosts the opening four stages that will favor the punchers and sprinters of the peloton.

Tour de France 2021 map

The first of the two individual time trial stages come on day five of the Tour, the 27km course running from Changé to Laval, before three days later the riders enter the high mountains for the first time in 2021.

Tour de France

Throughout the three-week race, there are just three summit finishes – Tignes (stage 9), Col du Portet (stage 17), and Luz Ardiden (stage 18) – though there are plenty of chances for opportunists to significant gains on the descents, most notably off Le Grand Bornand (stage eight) and during stage 11 when Mont Ventoux will be tackled twice on the same day before a breakneck dash towards the finish in the Provençal town of Malaucène.

For the sprinters and those targeting the points jersey, there are no fewer than seven stages that will suit their strengths, while the final, potentially decisive time trial comes on the penultimate day of the race.

And when does the Tour de France finish?

The race concludes three weeks after setting off from Brest with the largely processional 21st stage from Paris on Sunday, July 18.

Where does each stage start and end?

How can I follow the race?

Those with subscriptions to Eurosport or GCN Race Pass are in luck; both will be broadcasting every day, as will be Welsh terrestrial channel S4C which is available on Sky 134, Freesat 120, and Virgin TV 166 in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and on iPlayer and ITV with all channels showing their life and highlights programs at different times each day.

Alternatively, if you are stuck at work or do not subscribe to Eurosport or GCN Race Pass, then you can follow the action, as it unfolds, right here with Telegraph Sport. Each of the 21 stages will be live-blogged by our team – full details to follow – while every evening, our analysis will be published with selected facts and standings in the main classifications.

What teams will ride the Tour de France?

As with all WorldTour races, each of the 19 teams that make up the top-flight of professional cycling receives an invite, and in the case of the Tour de France, all units are contracted to race the second Grand Tour of 2021.

In addition to the WorldTeams, Alpecin-Fenix qualified as the No 1 ranked ProTeam from 2020 while race organizers ASO handed wild card entries to Arkéa-Samsic, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, and Total Direct Énergie.

How to watch live TV coverage and follow the race

Details to follow

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