When does Tour de France start 2021? TdF route map, teams, riders, Le Tour favourites, odds and TV coverage UK

British riders at the 2021 Tour de France include four-time winner Chris Froome, 2018 champion Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish

The Tour de France is back.

Riders and their teams are preparing for the start of the 2021 TdF race for the iconic yellow jersey across three weeks of elite cycling.

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The 2021 Le Tour features eight flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages, two individual time-trial stages and two rest days through June and July.

Geraint Thomas, pictured here on his way to TdF victory in 2018, is 5/1 on to win a second Le Tour title. (Pic: Getty)
Geraint Thomas, pictured here on his way to TdF victory in 2018, is 5/1 on to win a second Le Tour title. (Pic: Getty)

A time-honoured favourite among the cycling community, the Tour de France will feature British winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas among the field of riders.

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Here we take a look at when Le Tour starts, the route, teams, riders, pre-race favourites, latest odds and how UK fans can follow the action live on TV from the comfort of their own homes.

When does Tour de France start?

The 2021 Le Tour features eight flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages, two individual time-trial stages and two rest days through June and July. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

In 2021, the Tour de France will begin on Saturday 26 June.

The first of 21 stages will begin at 11.10am (BST) if you are planning to watch the action from central Europe live in the UK - more details on how below.

What is the 2021 Tour de France route?

The first TdF stage is classed as a hilly route over 197.8 kilometres from Brest to Landerneau in the Brittany region of north-west France.

The Tour ends on 18 July with the 108.4km ride out on the picturesque Champs-Élysées followed by presentations to the riders.

The entire 21 stage distance totals 3,414km.

Stage 1 - 26 June - Brest to Landerneau - 197.8km - Hilly

Stage 2 - 27 June - Perros-Guirec to Mûr-de-Bretagne - 183.5km - Hilly

Stage 3 - 28 June - Lorient to Pontivy - 182.9km - Flat

Stage 4 - 29 June - Redon to Fougères - 150.4km - Flat

Stage 5 - 30 June - Changé to Laval - 27.2km – Individual time-trial

Stage 6 - 1 July - Tours to Châteauroux - 160.6km - Flat

Stage 7 - 2 July - Vierzon to Le Creusot - 249.1km - Hilly

Stage 8 - 3 July - Oyonnax to Le Grand-Bornand - 150.8km - Mountain

Stage 9 - 4 July - Cluses to Tignes - 144.9km - Mountain

REST DAY

Stage 10 - 6 July - Albertville to Valence - 190.7km - Flat

Stage 11 - 7 July - Sorgues to Malaucène - 198.9km - Mountain

Stage 12 - 8 July - Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to Nîmes - 159.4km - Flat

Stage 13 - 9 July - Nîmes to Carcassonne - 219.9km - Flat

Stage 14 - 10 July - Carcassonne to Quillan - 183.7km - Hilly

Stage 15 - 11 July - Céret to Andorra la Vella (Andorra) - 191.3km - Mountain

REST DAY

Stage 16 - 13 July - El Pas de la Casa (Andorra) to Saint-Gaudens - 169km - Hilly

Stage 17 - 14 July - Muret to Saint-Lary-Soulan (Col du Portet) - 178.4km - Mountain

Stage 18 - 15 July - Pau to Luz Ardiden - 129.7km - Mountain

Stage 19 - 16 July - Mourenx to Libourne - 207km - Flat

Stage 20 - 17 July - Libourne to Saint-Émilion - 30.8km - Individual time-trial

Stage 21 - 18 July - Chatou to Paris (Champs-Élysées) - 108.4km - Flat

Tour de France TV coverage UK

UK TV license holders can watch the 2021 Tour de France for free via ITV4.

All 21 stages of the TdF will be shown live on the TV channel ITV4 and on the streaming service ITV Hub, while viewers in Wales can also watch the race on S4C.

Eurosport will also have live coverage of each stage though may need a subscription to watch.

Tour de France teams and riders

There will be no fewer than 184 riders at the start line in Brest, France, on Saturday 26 June.

Ag2r-Citroën (Fra): Benoît Cosnefroy (Fra), Dorian Godon (Fra), Oliver Naesen (Bel), Ben O'Connor (Aus), Aurélien Paret-Peintre (Fra), Nans Peters (Fra), Michael Schär (Swi), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel).

Astana-Premier Tech (Kaz): Alex Aranburu (Spa), Stefan de Bod (SA), Omar Fraile (Spa), Jakob Fuglsang (Den), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz), Hugo Houle (Can), Ion Izagirre (Spa), Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz).

Bahrain Victorious (Brn): Pello Bilbao (Spa), Sonny Colbrelli (Ita), Jack Haig (Aus), Matej Mohoric (Slo), Mark Padun (Ukr), Wout Poels (Hol), Dylan Teuns (Bel), Fred Wright (GB, neo-pro).

BikeExchange (Aus): Esteban Chaves (Col), Luke Durbridge (Aus), Lucas Hamilton (Aus), Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den), Michael Matthews (Aus), Luka Mezgec (Slo), Simon Yates (GB).

Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger): Emanuel Buchmann (Ger), Wilco Kelderman (Hol), Patrick Konrad (Aut), Daniel Oss (Ita), Nils Politt (Ger), Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut), Peter Sagan (Svk), Ide Schelling (Hol, neo-pro).

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra): Rubén Fernández (Spa), Simon Geschke (Ger), Jesús Herrada (Spa), Christophe Laporte (Fra), Guillaume Martin (Fra), Anthony Perez (Fra), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra), Jelle Wallays (Bel).

Deceuninck-Quick Step (Bel): Julian Alaphilippe (Fra), Kasper Asgreen (Den), Davide Ballerini (Ita), Mattia Cattaneo (Ita), Mark Cavendish (GB), Tim Declercq (Bel), Dries Devenyns (Bel), Michael Morkov (Den).

DSM (Ger): Tiesj Benoot (Bel), Cees Bol (Hol), Mark Donovan (GB, neo-pro), Nils Eekhoff (Hol, neo-pro), Soren Kragh Andersen (Den), Joris Nieuwenhuis (Hol), Casper Pedersen (Den), Jasha Sütterlin (Ger).

EF Education-Nippo (US): Stefan Bissegger (Swi, neo-pro), Magnus Cort (Den), Ruben Guerreiro (Por), Sergio Higuita (Col), Neilson Powless (US), Jonas Rutsch (Ger, neo-pro), Rigoberto Urán (Col), Michael Valgren (Den).

Groupama-FDJ (Fra): Bruno Armirail (Fra), Arnaud Démare (Fra), David Gaudu (Fra), Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita), Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu), Stefan Küng (Swi), Valentin Madouas (Fra), Miles Scotson (Aus).

Ineos Grenadiers (GB): Richard Carapaz (Ecu), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa), Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB), Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol), Richie Porte (Aus), Luke Rowe (GB), Geraint Thomas (GB), Dylan van Baarle (Hol).

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux (Bel): Jan Bakelants (Bel), Jonas Koch (Ger), Louis Meintjes (SA), Lorenzo Rota (Ita), Boy van Poppel (Hol), Danny van Poppel (Hol), Loïc Vliegen (Bel), Georg Zimmermann (Ger, neo-pro).

Israel Start-up Nation (Isr): Guillaume Boivin (Can), Chris Froome (GB), Omer Goldstein (Isr), André Greipel (Ger), Reto Hollenstein (Swi), Dan Martin (Irl), Michael Woods (Can), Rick Zabel (Ger).

Jumbo-Visma (Hol): Robert Gesink (Hol), Steven Kruijswijk (Hol), Sepp Kuss (US), Tony Martin (Ger), Primoz Roglic (Slo), Mike Teunissen (Hol), Wout van Aert (Bel), Jonas Vingegaard (Den).

Lotto-Soudal (Bel): Jasper De Buyst (Bel), Thomas De Gendt (Bel), Caleb Ewan (Aus), Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Roger Kluge (Ger), Harry Sweeny (Aus, neo-pro), Tosh Van der Sande (Bel), Brent Van Moer (Bel).

Movistar (Spa): Jorge Arcas (Spa), Imanol Erviti (Spa), Iván García Cortina (Spa), Miguel Ángel López (Col), Enric Mas (Spa), Marc Soler (Spa), Alejandro Valverde (Spa), Carlos Verona (Spa).

Qhubeka-NextHash (SA): Carlos Barbero (Spa), Sean Bennett (US), Victor Campenaerts (Bel), Simon Clarke (Aus), Nicholas Dlamini (SA), Michael Gogl (Aut), Sergio Henao (Col), Max Walscheid (Ger).

Trek-Segafredo (US): Julien Bernard (Fra), Kenny Elissonde (Fra), Bauke Mollema (Hol), Vincenzo Nibali (Ita), Mads Pedersen (Den), Toms Skujins (Lat), Jasper Stuyven (Bel), Edward Theuns (Bel).

UAE Team Emirates (UAE): Mikkel Bjerg (Den), Rui Costa (Por), Davide Formolo (Ita), Marc Hirschi (Swi), Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor), Rafal Majka (Pol), Brandon McNulty (US), Tadej Pogacar (Slo).

Alpecin-Fenix (Bel): Silvan Dillier (Swi), Tim Merlier (Bel), Xandro Meurisse (Bel), Jasper Philipsen (Bel), Jonas Rickaert (Bel), Kristian Sbaragli (Ita), Petr Vakoc (Cze), Mathieu van der Poel (Hol).

Arkéa-Samsic (Fra): Warren Barguil (Fra), Nacer Bouhanni (Fra), Anthony Delaplace (Fra), Élie Gesbert (Fra), Dan McLay (GB), Nairo Quintana (Col), Clément Russo (Fra), Connor Swift (GB).

B&B Hotels p/b KTM (Fra): Cyril Barthe (Fra), Franck Bonnamour (Fra), Maxime Chevalier (Fra), Bryan Coquard (Fra), Cyril Gautier (Fra), Cyril Lemoine (Fra), Quentin Pacher (Fra), Pierre Rolland (Fra).

TotalÉnergies (Fra): Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor), Jérémy Cabot (Fra), Víctor de la Parte (Spa), Fabien Doubey (Fra), Pierre Latour (Fra), Cristián Rodríguez (Spa), Julien Simon (Fra), Anthony Turgis (Fra).

Tour de France favourites and latest odds

The latest odds on overall Tour de France winners, correct at time of writing.

Tadej Pogacar - 5/4

Primoz Roglic - 2/1

Geraint Thomas - 5/1

Richard Carapaz - 8/1

Tom Dumoulin - 20/1

Richie Porte - 25/1

Julian Alaphilippe - 25/1

Thibaut Pinot - 37/1

Chris Froome - 1000/1