The contours of the 2021 edition of the Tour de France are gradually taking shape. Next year, the great cycling race will start from the city of Brest. In addition, its first four stages will be in Brittany, as the region and Tour director Christian Prudhomme announced on Monday August 10. “We were discussing with the Brittany region the next big departure since 2018,” Christian Prudhomme told Agence France-Presse. “Last fall, we focused on 2022 and we had planned an announcement in the spring. But, of course, the pandemic has been there. “
Copenhagen, which was due to host the big start in 2021, will wait another year. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic caused a change in the dates of the Tour and, therefore, of the site of its launch. “We understood a month ago that the Olympic cycling events would not change date and the International Cycling Union brought the Tour forward by a week. The mayor of Copenhagen told us: “We want the Tour, but we don’t know how to do it for security and logistical reasons”, also for us accommodation. The only possible solution was a year later, ”added Christian Prudhomme, adding“ I am really grateful to the regional council for having reversed with Denmark ”.
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The kick-off will therefore be given in Brest for the fourth time in the 100-year history of the Tour. The city, and beyond its metropolis, which has some 420,000 inhabitants, has already hosted the big departure in 1952, 1974 and 2008. Against only once in Rennes (in 1964), the regional prefecture.
Four starts, a record
“Four starts of the Tour, it will be a record for a city other than Paris”, noted Christian Prudhomme. “There is real logic to starting at the end of the peninsula and coming back. I remember receiving a letter from the mayor saying a few years ago “We are at the end of the peninsula, we come to see us a little less often but we love the Tour”. “
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Asked about the hypothesis of a big departure in Rennes, refused by local elected officials, Christian Prudhomme avoided the controversy: “The Tour can only go where the communities want us to go, it has always been like that . “
“Even with four 100% Breton stages, we know that we will not be able to satisfy all the candidates,” said the director of the Tour without revealing the names of the stage towns. “It’s a very strong passage that Brittany deserves. Four steps, it’s been a long time since it happened. In 2008, it was two stages and a start. “Christian Prudhomme also mentioned Hauts-de-France,” another region which obviously loves cycling “:” We will not go next year when they were initially on the 2021 route. makes it the first week of the Tour that changes. “To know the route, we will have to wait a few months. The presentation of the Tour 2021 is scheduled for October 29, a week later than expected.