Cycling

Tour de France to embark from Brest in 2021

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The 2021 Tour de France will start in the western French port of Brest, organisers said on Monday, a week after Copenhagen pulled out of staging it.

Brittany will host four full stages and all the build-up to the 2021 Tour, the region's president Loig Chesnais-Girard announced.

"We have been talking with local authorities about this since 2018," Tour de France chief Christian Prudhomme told AFP.

"We were originally thinking about 2022, but the pandemic has changed all that."

Asked if there was any truth that the city of Rennes had refused to host a stage, Prudhomme avoided any conflict.

"We can only go where the elected officials invite us to go," he said.

"There are four stages and even then we couldn't please all the people who did want us."

In the original Copenhagen schedule the first stage would have been a time trial on July 2 with two more stages in Denmark on July 3 and 4.

But the new 'Grand Depart' will be a week earlier so as to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen said last week the Danish organisers have accepted an offer from the race's organiser, Amaury Sport Organisation, to postpone the start in Denmark until 2022.

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