The 108th edition of the Tour de France comprises 21 stages, with six in the high mountains

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 a España.

Founded in 1903 by Henri Desgrange, editor of L’Auto newspaper, the Tour may not be the favourite stage race of the cycling cognoscenti but it is one that captures the imagination of the wider sporting public. As a result, the race is the biggest annual sporting event in the world with more live spectators than even the Olympics or football World Cup.

When does the Tour de France start?

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

How long is this year’s Tour de France?

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

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.

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 main 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.

Tour de France 2021 — in summary

And when does the Tour de France finish?

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

Where does each stage start and end?

Tour de France | June 26-July 18, 2021

How can I follow the race?

Those with subscriptions to Eurosport or GCN+ 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 live and highlights programmes at different times each day.

Alternatively, if you are stuck at work or do not subscribe to Eurosport or GCN+ 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 details 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 receive an invite and in the case of the Tour de France, all teams are contracted to race the second grand tour of 2021.

  • Tour de France: Full list of squads and rider startlist

In addition to the WorldTeams, Alpecin-Fenix qualified as the No 1 ranked ProTeam from 2020 while race organisers 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

All dates, times and distances are correct at time of publishing. 

Saturday June 26

Stage one: Brest to Landerneau, 197.8km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.45am-4.45pm, ITV 10.45am-4.30pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8.30-9.30pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9-9.30pm

Sunday June 27

Stage two: Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne, 183.5km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.20pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.15-5.10pm, ITV 1-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Monday June 28

Stage three: Lorient to Pontivy, 182.9km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.20pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.50am-5.05pm, ITV 1-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Tuesday June 29

Stage four: Redon to Fougères, 150.4km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.40pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.05-4.30pm, ITV 1-4.30pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Wednesday June 30

Stage five: Changé to Laval, 27.2km – time trial

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.15am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.55am-4.55pm, ITV 2-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Thursday July 1

Stage six: Tours to Châteauroux, 160.6km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 1.05pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.35-5.05pm, ITV 2-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday July 2

Stage seven: Vierzon to Le Creusot, 249.1km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 10.15am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 9.40am-4.50pm, ITV 2-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Saturday July 3

Stage eight: Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand, 150.8km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.15pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.50am-4.50pm, ITV 12-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9-9.30pm

Sunday July 4

Stage nine: Cluses to Tignes, 144.9km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.10pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.15-5.25pm, ITV 12-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Tuesday July 6 

Stage 10: Albertville to Valence, 190.7km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.20pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.45am-5.05pm, ITV 1-5pm, S4C TBC 
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Wednesday July 7

Stage 11: Sorgues to Malaucène, 198.9km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.15am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.40am-5.05pm, ITV 12-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10.05-10.35pm

Thursday July 8

Stage 12: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes, 159.4km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.40pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm 
Live: Eurosport1 12.10-4.50pm, ITV 1.4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday July 9

Stage 13: Nîmes to Carcassonne, 219.9km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.15am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.45am-5pm, ITV 1-5pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Saturday July 10

Stage 14: Carcassonne to Quillan, 183.7km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.40am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.05am-4.30pm, ITV 11.15am-4.15pm, S4C From 3.15pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9-9.30pm

Sunday July 11

Stage 15: Céret to Andorra la Vella (Andorra), 191.3km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11am-5.15pm, ITV 11.15am-5.15pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Tuesday July 13

Stage 16: El Pas de la Casa (Andorra) to Saint-Gaudens, 169km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.30pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.45am-5.05pm, ITV 1-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Wednesday July 14

Stage 17: Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col du Portet), 178.4km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.10am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.35am-4.35pm, ITV 10.45am-4.30pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Thursday July 15 

Stage 18: Pau to Luz Ardiden, 129.7km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.50pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 12.15-5pm, ITV 1-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Friday July 16

Stage 19: Mourenx to Libourne, 207km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 11.30am (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1pm
Live: Eurosport1 10.55am-4.50pm, ITV 1-4.45pm, S4C From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 9.30-10pm

Saturday July 17

Stage 20: Libourne to Saint-Émilion, 30.8km – time trial

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 12.05pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 1.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 11.45am-5.25pm, ITV 3-5.15pm, S4C Clic player From 2pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 7-8pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

Sunday July 18

Stage 21: Chatou to Paris (Champs-Élysées), 108.4km

Credit: ASO

Stage starts at: 3.30pm (BST)
Telegraph Sport liveblog: 3.30pm
Live: Eurosport1 2.55-7.15pm, ITV 4-7pm, S4C From 3pm
Highlights: Eurosport1 8-9pm, ITV 9-10pm, S4C 10-10.30pm

  • Tour de France 2021 teams: full list of riders starting in Brittany