(Reuters) – The Tour de France riders will climb the iconic Mont Ventoux twice next year through two different courses, organisers said as they unveiled the route on Sunday.
The ‘Giant of Provence’ will first be ascended from the easiest of its three sides, from Sault – 26km at an average gradient of 4.6% – then from its hardest side, from Bedoin – 21km at 7.5% – during the 11th stage between Sorgues and Malaucene, at the bottom of the descent of the third side.
The 2021 Tour, which will feature two individual time trials, in the opening week and on the penultimate day, could however be decided in the Pyrenees, with the 18th stage going through another iconic ascent, to the Col du Tourmalet.
The 17th stage is on paper one of the hardest as it will go through the Col de Peyresourde before ending at the top of the Col du Portet (16km at 8.7%), 2,215 metres above sea level.
The route is more traditional than last year’s, leaving more stages to the sprinters and giving time trial specialists a better chance to shine.
It will also feature the longest ride in 20 years when the seventh stage takes the peloton over 248km from Vierzon to Le Creusot.
The ninth stage will finish in Tignes, two years after the 19th stage was interrupted because of landslides and torrential rains.
Route of the 2021 Tour de France:
Stage 1, June 26 : Brest – Landerneau, 187km
Stage 2, June 27 : Perros Guirrec – Mur de Bretagne Guerledan, 182km
Stage 3, June 28 : Lorient – Pontivy, 182km
Stage 4, June 29 : Redon – Fougeres, 152km
Stage 5, June 30: Change – Laval, 27km (individual time trial)
Stage 6, July 1: Tours – Chateauroux, 144km
Stage 7, July 2: Vierzon – Le Creusot, 248km
Stage 8, July 3: Oyonnax – Le Grand Bornand, 151km
Stage 9, July 4: Cluses – Tignes, 145km
July 5: Rest day in Tignes
Stage 10, July 6: Albertville – Valence, 186km
Stage 11, July 7: Sorgues – Malaucene, 199km
Stage 12, July 8: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux – Nimes, 161km
Stage 13, July 9: Nimes – Carcassonne, 220km
Stage 14, July 10: Carcassonne – Quillan, 184km
Stage 15, July 11: Ceret – Andorra la Vella, 192km
July 12: Rest day in Andorra
Stage 16, July 13: Pas de la Casa – Saint-Gaudens, 169km
Stage 17, July 14: Muret – Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col du Portet), 178km
Stage 18, July 15: Pau – Luz Ardiden, 130km
Stage 19, July 16: Mourenx – Libourne, 203km
Stage 20, July 17: Libourne – Saint-Emilion 31km, (individual time trial)
Stage 21, July 18: Chatou – Paris 112km