2021 La Course by Le Tour de France

Top Four Favorites For The 2021 La Course By Le Tour de France

Top Four Favorites For The 2021 La Course By Le Tour de France

22 teams are ready to race the 8th edition of La Course Saturday, in conjunction with the opening stage of the men’s Tour de France start in Brittany.

Jun 24, 2021 by Rebecca Reza
La Course Is A Punchy Technical TDF Kickoff

22 teams are ready to race the 8th edition of La Course, before the return of a women’s Tour de France set to launch in 2022. La Course is set for Saturday, in conjunction with the opening stage of the men’s Tour de France start in Brittany, between Brest and Landerneau. The 107 kilometer hilly course will end at the top of the cote de la Fosse aux Loups.

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The future of this one-day race is uncertain, after playing such an important role in driving the momentum in the fight for a women’s Tour de France. For now, it will set the stage for the emerging stars making their mark for the seasons to come. It will also be the final edition for Anna Van Der Breggen, with her retirement looming at the end of the season.

One rider notably missing from the start list is Movistar’s Annemiek Van Vleuten. The multi-time world champion made the decision to skip both La Course and upcoming Giro d’Italia Donne in order to focus on her season objective, the Tokyo Summer Olympic games.  While we will miss a repeat of the 2018 showdown between Van Vleuten and her Dutch rival, Anna van der Breggen, there will be plenty of powerhouse names in the peloton to make for a thrilling day of racing. 

Read on to discover the four top favorites to for the biggest one day race in Women's cycling.

Lizzie Deignan (Trek – Segafredo)

Lizzie Deignan returns as the defending champion, with memories of the gripping photo-finish victory beating Marianne Vos in Nice last season. Despite grappling with multiple bouts of illness at the start of her 2021 season, the defending champion returns to La Course seemingly on top form after a sweeping victory at the first ever women’s Tour de Suisse, in which she won every classification. 

A preliminary start list for La Course has not been released but Trek-Segafredo is sure to bring a tough squad to back her in the battle ahead.  Throughout the first half of the season the team was animating the races, displaying their unity and prowess. The punchy course will suit the Classic riders like Americans Ruth Winder and Taylor Wiles, who are expected to be on the roster. Elisa Longo Borghini has chosen to skip the race but adding Lucinda Brand and Audrey Cordon-Ragot in the mix will give Deignan strong support in her bid for another, consecutive victory. 


Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx)

The World Champion returns for what will be her final participation in La Course, as her illustrious career approaches its end. Van der Breggen had an extensive Classics season beginning with her victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, before a racing block in Spain where she won every race she competed in. Last week she earned her second Dutch national TT title racing her first time trial this season. 

Van der Breggen won La Course in 2015, and finished second in 2018. SD Worx has enjoyed a stellar first half of the season, earning 20 victories including 7 national titles.  

Strade Bianche winner Chantal Van Den Broek-Blaak is expected to race in support, along with Christine Majerus coming off her national time trial and road championship wins in Luxembourg. 


Marianne Vos (Team Jumbo – Visma)

Marianne Vos is the most decorated professional cyclist in history, and a two-time winner of La Course in 2014 and 2019.  She began her 15th season racing professionally this year with six top-ten finishes out of the eight Classics she competed in. She won Gent-Wevelgem and her first Amstel Gold victory, proving that team Jumbo-Visma has found their winning stride in their inaugural season. Vos chose to take a break after her Classics campaign, before racing the Dutch National Road championships last week. Memories of the photo finish in Nice will surely be nagging at her in fighting for a third victory. 

Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon – SRAM Racing)

The Polish rider had a consistent Classics campaign, with two second place finishes at La Fleche Wallonne and Dwars door Vlaanderen behind Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten.  

She was one of the few that has been consistently able to follow the attacks by the Dutch power trio, including Vos.  She has placed in the top ten at every La Course since 2017, earning her best result, a fourth place finish last year. 

Niewiadoma went straight into her next block of racing in Spain after the Classics this spring, finishing just inside of the top ten at the Vuelta a Burgos.  She is expected to have both Hannah Barnes and Tiffany Cromwell riding in support. If the team is able to deliver her in the front group coming into the finish, the hilltop finale should suit Niewiadoma’s climbing power to fight for the win.