We are now amidst the classics and monuments in the 2021 cycling season. Here is our full 2021 World Tour cycling calendar.
The cancellation of the Santos Tour Down Under and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was a setback as the global pandemic continues to dismantle sections of the 2021 race calendar. However, we have since witnessed all planned WorldTour races go ahead to schedule. As we build up to the grand tours, we hope this trend continues throughout the season.
We've seen the usual suspects including Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel already take numerous wins, yet we've also seen some more surprising riders come to the fore. So, with many more races looking likely to follow, here is our guide to the early season races in 2021.
Races So Far
Etoile de Bessèges (03/02-07/02) - Debrief
Tour de la Provence (11/02-14/02) - Debrief
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19/02-21/02) - Debrief
UAE Tour (21/02-27/02) - Debrief
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27/02) - Debrief
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (28/02) - Debrief
Strade Bianche (06/03) - Debrief
Paris-Nice (07/03-14/03) - Debrief
Tirreno-Adriatico (10/03-16/03) - Debrief
Milan-San Remo (20/03) - Debrief
Oxyclean Classic Brugge-De Panne (24/03)
E3 Saxo Bank Classic (26/03) - Debrief
Gent-Wevelgem (28/03) - Debrief
Dwars Door Vlaanderen (31/03)
Tour of Flanders (04/04) - Debrief
Itzulia Basque Country - (05/04-10/04) - Debrief
Amstel Gold Race - (18/04) - Debrief
La Flèche Wallonne - (21/04)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège - (25/04)
Tour de Romandie - 2.WT (27/04-02/05)
The final WorldTour stage race before the Giro d'Italia. The race often features numerous time trials and numerous difficulties in the Swiss Alps, perfect preparation for those looking to challenge for the maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia a few weeks later.
Giro d'Italia - 2.WT (08/05 - 30/05)
The Giro d'italia is the first of the three Grand Tours in the 2021 cycling season.
Known for its steep, demanding climbs, the 2021 route looks set to provide an enthralling spectacle.
The 2021 Giro was peculiar for a number of reasons. Usually taking place in May, the race was postponed until October. This made it challenging for riders attempting to complete the Tour-Giro double as they'd be forced to ride them in quick succession. The Vuelta a España also overlapped with the Giro, making it impossible to ride 100% of both races.
As the world attempts to return to normality, the cycling calendar does the same. This means that the Giro has been restored to it’s normal slot in May, two months prior to the Tour.
Critérium du Dauphiné - 2.WT (30/05-06/06)
One of the most prestigous stage-races in the world. Naturally, the winner is placed among the favourites for the Tour de France, and for good reason. Since 2010, the winner of the Dauphine does indeed go on to win the Tour a month later with a 50% success rate. The latest to do so was Geraint Thomas in 2018. The eight stages are filled with mountains, time-trials and some flat stages to entice the sprinters too.
Tour de Suisse - 2.WT (06/06-13/06)
The final chance for Tour de France contenders to prep for the race in a WorldTour stage race. Overlapping with the Dauphine, riders must choose one. One of the races to succumb to COVID-19 in 2020, Egan Bernal is the most recent winner in 2019.
Tour de France - 2.WT (06/26-07/18)
The big one. The race everyone talks about. The chase for the mailliot jaune, the most distinguished jersey in cycling. The Tour finished in the Autumn months in 2019, but returns to its familiar slot at the peak of the French Summer for 2021. The two heavy favourites are Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar, but all of the world's best cyclists want to ride the Tour de France.
Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa - 1.WT (31/07)
Taking place in the Basque region, this one day race is full of hills. Not too dissimilar in terrain to the Ardennes. A flat finish means that anyone with a strong kick has an opportunity if in a group. However, the previous edition was won solo by Remco Evenepoel, the crowning result of his neo-pro season.
Tour de Pologne - 2.WT (09/08-15/08)
On the topic of Remco, he's won this one as well. The 2020 Tour of Poland was marred by a crash on stage-one, where Fabio Jakobsen suffered serious injuries. The course is set to be modified going forward.
La Vuelta a España - 2.WT (14/08-05/09)
The final Grand Tour of the year. This time, we are in Spain for La Vuelta. It is the youngest of the three Grand Tours, the first edition took place in 1935. Primoz Roglic is the double defending Champion having won the red jersey in 2019 and 2020. We wait to see whether he will return this year. As the Vuelta takes place near the end of the season, teams wait to assess form and fitness before deciding their lineup.
EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg - 1.WT (22/08)
This race has been Elia Viviani's stomping ground — the Italian has won the previous three editions. A true sprinter's classic where the world's best sprinters not at La Vuelta will have their fun.
Bretagne Classic - 1.WT (29/08)
A hilly classic in France, the victor has to be adept at climbing but quick in a finish. Oli Naesen and Sep Vanmarcke won in 2018 and 2019 respectively, but Michael Matthews won in 2020. The type of rider that wins can vastly vary depending on the way the race is ridden.
BinckBank Tour - 2.WT (30/08-05/09)
A stage-race for the cobblestone lovers. The BinckBank Tour is unique in featuring the 'Golden Kilometre', a chance for attacks and sprinters to gain considerable time in the GC.
Grand Prix Cyclise de Québec/Montréal - 1.WT (10/09 & 12/09)
Two Canadian classics. Michael Matthews has reigned supreme here in recent times, winning three of the previous four races. It's not surprise either, Matthews was built to win here — strong on hills and difficult to beat in a sprint.
Eschborn-Frankfurt - 1.WT (19/09)
Alexander Kristoff's race. The Norwegian won this race in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, though Pascal Ackermann defeated him in 2019. The race features some climbing earlier in the day but a flat run-in provides a great chance for the sprinters still present at the sharp end of the race.
Paris-Roubaix - 1.WT (03/10)
"The Hell of the North".
Very few bike races are nicknamed with such marked connotations. But Paris-Roubaix really is a Sunday in Hell, for those riding at least. For those lucky enough to be watching from the sofa, a ‘Sunday in Paradise’ would perhaps be more accurate.
Throughout the day, the riders must tackle some of the most difficult cobblestones around. The Trouee d’Arenberg sector has become infamous in cycling folklore and is the most difficult sector of the race. In 2019, there was over 50km of cobblestones — no surprise then that only 100 riders finished.
Paris-Roubaix is one of cycling’s five monuments and is one of the oldest races around — the first edition took place in 1896. Roger De Vlaeminck and Tom Boonen hold the record for the most wins with four apiece.
In 2020, for the first time since World War II, no edition of Paris-Roubaix took place due to the global pandemic. This fact alone makes us even more excited about The Hell of the North this year.
We are also thrilled to see the inaugural Women’s Paris-Roubaix this year.
Il Lombardia - 1.WT (09/10)
The final monument of the season. This is the monument that the climbers will look to with glee. The and Muro di Sormano and the Civiglio are some of the major climbs that have provided the main make-up for Il Lombardia as of late. Over 230km in length, Il Lombardia is a battle of attrition meaning it's rare to see large groups cross the line together. This was the case when Jakob Fuglsang won solo in 2020, to win the second monument of his career.
Gree-Tour of Guangxi - 2.WT (14/10-19/10)
The final WorldTour race of the season, and one of the newest races on the calendar. The first Gree-Tour of Guangxi took place in 2017. Since, winners include Tim Wellens, Gianni Moscon and Enric Mas.
Cover photo: Alex Broadway/ASO/SWPix.com