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Tour de France 2021 Grand Depart switched to Brittany

Jack Elton-Walters
10 Aug 2020

The race was previously due to visit Denmark in 2021, but will now start in France’s northwest corner

Brittany, in France's northwest, will host the Grand Départ of the 2021 Tour de France. The race had been due to start in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, but date changes have made that difficult.

With the Olympics pushed back a year as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Tour de France has been forced to shift one week earlier to prevent it from clashing with the event in Tokyo. This has subsequently caused difficulty for Copenhagen, which is due to host a knockout game of the football European Championships – also postponed from this summer – at the same time as the Tour’s new 2021 dates.

In the short-term, that problem has been solved by the change of location for the Tour’s Grand Départ to Brest and the wider Brittany region, with hopes for a Danish start in 2022.

The announcement, long-rumoured, was made by the Tour's head organiser, Christian Prudhomme, during a presentation in Rennes. Ironically, while making the announcement about changes forced by coronavirus, those present appeared to be standing quite close together on a small stage, with none wearing face coverings.

This year’s Tour de France is currently set to start on 29th August in Nice on France's south coast, having been repeatedly postponed as coronavirus took hold across Europe.

As is the case in many European countries, infection rates are rising in some areas of France, which means that this year’s race could still be disrupted or even cancelled altogether.