Preview: What you need to know about stage 1 of the 2021 Tour de France

Here's a quick look at what you can expect on the opening stage of the Tour.

by Matt de Neef

Date: Saturday June 26
Start: Brest
Finish: Landerneau
Distance: 197.8 km

There’s no boring sprint stage to start this year’s Tour de France. Instead we get a pretty lumpy day that features four, fourth-category climbs, and two third-category climbs. The last of those is actually an uphill finish to the line: 3.1 km at 5.6% with a max gradient of 14%. Riders are reporting that the climb is actually harder than they first thought, so this could be an interesting start to the Tour.

What to watch for: There are lots of changes of direction on this stage and it can get windy in Brittany. Also: there’s real potential here for a GC contender to lose a few seconds on the final climb.
Who’s it for: Strong puncheurs who dream of wearing yellow.
Dane Cash’s picks: This should be a stage for some of the most popular riders in the race, and I like Mathieu van der Poel most of all. Julian Alaphilippe should be in contention as well, while Jumbo-Visma will have to decide whether to give Wout van Aert a shot at stage 1 glory or to put him to work for Primoz Roglic.

Editors' Picks