Tour de France gets underway from port city Brest


BREST, France — The Tour de France got underway Saturday from the western port city of Brest, returning to its traditional slot in the calendar after last year’s edition was pushed back to September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The gray weather did not deter fans as hundreds of spectators, many holding the Brittany flag, lined the streets to greet the peloton as riders started their three-week trek across France.

The first stage to Landerneau is a mainly flat 198-kilometer (123-mile) course featuring an uphill finish likely to favor punchy riders including world champion Julian Alaphilippe and Strade Bianche champion Mathieu van der Poel.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar, a 22-year-old Slovenian, is the favorite to hold the title he claimed last year to become the second-youngest champion in the history of the race.

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