La Course 2021 has had to be moved forward a day in the schedule due to the second round of the departmental and regional elections in France. The race was originally going to finish on the Mûr de Bretagne climb.
The original course for the race was set to be from Saint-Brieuc before tackling the famous Brittany climb of the Mûr-de-Bretagne. Unfortunately due to the change of date, this is no longer possible meaning the riders will take on a 107.4km route from Brest to Landerneau.
It is going to be taking place on the same day as the opening stage of the men’s Tour de France between the same two towns but the women’s peloton takes on a much shorter route with the men racing 187km.
The route is going to take in the usually hilly Bretagne terrain with a finishing circuit around Landerneau to try and have a similar outcome to the original route to Mûr de Bretagne.
The finishing circuit is 14km long and will be covered three times. It takes in the short steep climb of the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups which is 3km long at an average gradient of 5.7 per cent.
The highest gradients come right at the bottom with the slopes kicking up to 14 per cent, a real launchpad for attacks for the likes of last year’s winner, Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo).
All-in-all the race takes on 1800 metres of elevation, so an up and down race profile is expected. The official route profile is not yet available.
The race organiser ASO sent out a press release saying: “The eighth edition of La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ, welcoming every year the elite of the UCI Women’s WorldTour on the route of a stage of the Tour de France, was initially set to be raced between Saint-Brieuc and Mûr-de-Bretagne on Sunday, June 27.
“Following a change of date for the second round of the French departmental and regional elections, the organisers adapt the schedule of the race in order to affect as little as possible the access to the polling stations for the citizens living in the area.
“La Course by le Tour de France avec FDJ has thus been moved to Saturday, June 26 and the women will battle it out between Brest and Landerneau, like the male’s peloton, but on a 107.4km route.
“The new course offers similar characteristics to the previous one, with a 14-km hilly finish circuit to be covered three times before the finish atop the côte de la Fosse aux Loups.
“With a total elevation of 1,800m, the challenges of the day should favour the punchiest riders, like the finish at Mûr-de-Bretagne would have.”