Tour de France 2021 La Course by Le Tour de France, Brest-Landerneau, 107.7 km., Saturday June 26th



The day is upon us. It's time for the 8th and possibly/hopefully last edition of La Course.
Better things are, again hopefully, on the horizon, but we still have this last one-day race to enjoy. Who will follow in Queen Elizabeth's footsteps?

The race was initially meant to take place on Sunday, mimicking stage 2 of the Tour and have featured six ascents of the Mûr-de-Bretagne, but it had to be rescheduled due to the second round of the 2021 local elections in Brittany also being on Sunday (and sports and politics should of course never be mixed ;)). Instead we'll get a race on some of the route for the first stage of the Tour, including four ascents of the climb in Landerneau.

Start list: https://www.lacoursebyletourdefrance.com/en/riders







Here are the profiles of the climbs (all credit goes to Devil's Elbow for having found them for the TdF thread).
The Côte de Saint-Urbain will only be climbed in full once, and then the last, easier part will be raced three times following the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups.







Favourite (it's meant to be cider)

:cocktail::cocktail::cocktail::cocktail::cocktail:Anna van der Breggen

Former winners
2014 Marianne Vos
2015 Anna van der Breggen
2016 Chloe Hosking
2017 Annemiek van Vleuten
2018 Annemiek van Vleuten
2019 Marianne Vos
2020 Lizzie Deignan
 
This is Anna's last season, I hope she doesn't let the opportunity to win this go. The others will stick around longer and this is a route made for her (I think. You know, women's cycling and me, route profiles and me...)
She's also just released her autobiography, and those babies don't sell themseleves, so maybe that will motivate her as well :D

Great having Fassa Bortolo involved, although they don't have the "right" colours this season.
 
Oh my... I think Libertine explained why this happens in women's cycling, but I didn't read it properly or forgot...
All these riders riding away solo instead of forming a decent break drive me slightly crazy.
Very little artificial "break of the day" antics in women's cycling. Less televised races means less reason to get in the break for smaller teams, and smaller teams means less control over the bunch so you frequently see people trying to attack to create a break group and then you get continual attempts to break away shut down until the right composition is had, and then the elastic snaps. Which is what used to happen in men's cycling in the first hour of racing before the modern era of pre-arranged nothingburger moves setting off at km0 uncontested in a lot of stages, but with the shorter courses in women's cycling once they've got through that phase of generating the break, they're already at such a point that endgame is being approached, so it kind of prolongs that hunt for the break as the big guns start considering their moves soon afterward.

Oh look, ASO have given us a moderately hilly one-day race, something hugely underrepresented on the women's calendar...
 
Really nice situation here for Brown and Harvey. For Brown this is probably her best way of winning, shedding some of this group between the penultimate and final ascents now the gap's got big enough then at least the strongest of them are likely to get over the crest with an advantage over the favourites.
 
Liane looks so chilled in that chase. She's got a quick finish, the big problem for her is that Vos is in it too, since she could expect to beat everybody else that answered the big acceleration in a sprint with the possible exception of Vollering. Interesting that Deignan is struggling to stay on as that suggests she should be vulnerable in the final ascent. Évita attacking in her brand new French national jersey here, and it's an absolute stunner as you might expect from FDJ having the tricouleur.
 

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