Everything to Know About the Tour de France 2021

Everything to Know About the Tour de France 2021
“The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage.” — Graeme Fife, author of The History, the Legend, the Riders (Mainstream Publishing) The 108th Tour de France starts on Saturday, the 26th of June from Brest, the maritime port in Brittany. As explained by Christian Prudhomme, TDF Director since 2007, the race was originally planned to start in Copenhagen, diverted because of the pandemic. Fingers crossed, Denmark will host the Grand Départ in 2022. There’s serious prize money waiting (think €2 million+). The winner takes home €500,000+ – he earns it! Tour de France poster. (C) Tour de France Official The first Tour in 1903 was the concept of two sporting journalists, George Lefevre and Henri Desgranges, battling to increase circulation of their publication L’Auto – today’s daily sporting bible – L’Equipe. Apparently the Yellow jersey recalls that L’Auto was printed on yellow paper! Who knew? The four jerseys proudly worn by race leaders are: the iconic yellow; green, based on points awarded at intermediate sprints and finishes; the macho red polka dot “king of the mountain”; and white for best young rider under 25. However, the prestigious prize has to be sporting the Maillot Jaune, the Yellow Jersey, in Paris on the last day of the race! Of the 23 squads expected to participate, will Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates), last year’s 21-year-old wonder wheeler, keep his crown/jersey or perhaps his compatriot Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma), last year’s runner-up, will finish in victory? Tour de France jerseys. (C) MikelZubieta-ehu/ Wikimedia Commons Also watch Londoner Tao Geoghegan Hart, Egan Bernal (2019 winner) and the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), Chris Froome riding for Israel Start Up Nation, Mark Cavendish competing for the first time since 2018, and Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), Nairo Quintana (Arkéa Samsic), Miguel Angel Lopez and Enric Mas (Movistar), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious)… the cycling dream team…

Lead photo credit : Tour de France. Photo: charel.irrthum/ Flickr

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !