The epic hill climbs; the intense time trials; the quaint cobbled streets; the famous yellow jersey. Just mentioning the words 'Tour de France' conjures up a whole gallery of nostalgia and excitement. Here we explain how to get a Tour de France live stream and watch cycling online from anywhere - including for FREE in some countries! We also have info on this year's Tour de France stage times and dates.
After last year's unforgettable climax, the race for the iconic maillot jaune returns as Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič make France their battleground once more. Will the Slovenian stars dominate the mountains, hills and roads of La République again? It's so far so good for the reigning champ, with the 22-year-old responding superbly to being the man to beat.
Outside of that, Mark Cavendish has perhaps been the story of the Tour so far, staging a remarkable comeback in 2021 to start racking up the stage wins. Australia's Ben O'Connor has also taken many pundits and casual fans by surprise, with a strong opening week.
This year's Tour features three summit finishes, 10 mountain stages and eight flat stages, as well as bringing back a second individual time trial. The riders will enter the Alps on the second weekend of the race, but Stage 17 is where the race is likely to be lost or won, as the Pyrenean Col de Peyresourde, Col d’Azet-Val Louron and Col du Portet separate the men from the boys.
Read on for everything you need to know to watch a 2021 Tour de France live stream from anywhere, as well as the countries where you can watch absolutely free.
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Who has a free Tour de France live stream in 2021?
One of the best things about the Tour de France is that it's completely free to watch in lots of countries around the world. For example:
France - France TV Sport
Belgium - RTBF
Italy - Rai Sport
Australia - SBS
How to watch Tour de France 2021 from outside your country
As discussed above, if you're desperate to watch the Tour de France but you're away from home and the coverage is geo-blocked, then you could always use a VPN to access it (assuming you're not breaching any broadcaster T&Cs, of course). You may be surprised how simple it is to do.
Use a VPN to get a Tour de France live stream from anywhere
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Using a VPN is as easy as one-two-three...
1. Download and install a VPN - as we say, our top choice is ExpressVPN
2. Connect to the appropriate server location - open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location
3. Go to the broadcaster's live stream - so if you're from the UK, just head to ITV Hub and watch the cycling as if you were back at home!
2021 Tour de France: stages, dates, schedule and start times
- Stage 1 - Saturday, June 26 at 12.10pm CEST, 11.10am BST, 6.10am ET
- Stage 2 - Sunday, June 27 at 1.10pm CEST, 12.10pm BST, 7.10am ET
- Stage 3 - Monday, June 28 at 1.10pm CEST, 12.10pm BST, 7.10am ET
- Stage 4 - Tuesday, June 29 at 1.25pm CEST, 12.25am BST, 7.25am ET
- Stage 5 (ITT) - Wednesday, June 30 at 12.15pm CEST, 11.15am BST, 6.15am ET
- Stage 6 - Thursday, July 1 at 1.55pm CEST, 12.55am BST, 7.55am ET
- Stage 7 - Friday, July 2 at 11am CEST, 10am BST, 5am ET
- Stage 8 - Saturday, July 3 at 1.10pm CEST, 12.10pm BST, 7.10am ET
- Stage 9 - Sunday, July 4 at 1pm CEST, 12pm BST, 7am ET
- Rest - Monday, July 5
- Stage 10 - Tuesday, July 6 at 1.05pm CEST, 12.05pm BST, 7.05am ET
- Stage 11 - Wednesday, July 7 at 12pm CEST, 11am BST, 6am ET
- Stage 12 - Thursday, July 8 at 12pm CEST, 11am BST, 6am ET
- Stage 13 - Friday, July 9 at 12.05pm CEST, 11.05am BST, 6.05am ET
- Stage 14 - Saturday, July 10 at 12.25pm CEST, 11.25am BST, 6.25am ET
- Stage 15 - Sunday, July 11 at 12.20pm CEST, 11.20am BST, 6.20am ET
- Rest - Monday, July 12
- Stage 16 - Tuesday, July 13 at 1.05pm CEST, 12.05pm BST, 7.05am ET
- Stage 17 - Wednesday, July 14 at 11.55am CEST, 10.55am BST, 5.55am ET
- Stage 18 - Thursday, July 15 at 1.35pm CEST, 12.35pm BST, 7.35am ET
- Stage 19 - Friday, July 16 at 12.20pm CEST, 11.20am BST, 6.20am ET
- Stage 20 (ITT) - Saturday, July 17 at 1.05pm CEST, 12.05pm BST, 7.05am ET
- Stage 21 - Sunday, July 18 at 4.15pm CEST, 3.15pm BST, 10.15am ET
How to watch a free Tour de France live stream in the UK
As usual, the Grand Tour is being shown in the UK on ITV4, which means anyone can watch a Tour de France live stream using the channel's ITV Hub platform. Just make sure you have a valid UK TV license, of course.
For added on-the-go viewing convenience, ITV Hub has an excellent app that's available on nearly anything that plugs in these days - just give it a search on your choice of mobiles, tablets, set-top boxes, select smart TVs, consoles and more.
It can be used by anyone in the UK 100% free - registration takes seconds and you only need a working email address and full UK postcode (such as SW1A 1AA for Buckingham Palace) to get streaming.
Another option is Welsh-language channel S4C, which will be offering daily live coverage of the 2021 Tour de France on its linear TV channel and via its app and S4C Clic streaming and catch-up service. S4C is also available to stream for FREE via BBC iPlayer.
And if you already subscribe to it, live Tour de France coverage is also available via the GCN+ Race Pass, which costs £39.99 for a year - but the caveat is that it's mobile-only.
If you're from the UK but not at home right now, you can still get your 2021 Tour de France fix by using a VPN.
How to watch Tour de France 2021: live stream cycling in Australia for FREE
Aussie cycling fans are equally lucky (except with the broadcast timings!), as a free Tour de France live stream is available Down Under too, thanks to SBS.
Don't worry if you're out of the country and want to catch that SBS broadcast - just grab a VPN and you can watch all of the stages as if you were back at home on your laptop, mobile or other TV streaming device.
How to watch the 2021 Tour de France: live stream the race in the US
Peacock TV has just replaced NBC Sports Gold as NBC's cycling streaming option, is the service to head to to watch this crucial Premiership clash.
It costs just $4.99 a month, offers a FREE 7-day trial, and best of all, signing up for Peacock Premium is easy - it only takes a few seconds and some basic details to get up and running, even accepting internationally recognized payment platform PayPal for added convenience.
As well as cycling, Peacock Premium offers loads of other great content, including Premier League soccer, Premiership rugby, WWE and 20,000 hours of content featuring brilliant Peacock Originals like Brave New World, The Capture, and Intelligence.
If you find yourself unable to access your normal coverage because you're out of the country, remember that you can use a VPN to tune in just like you would at home.
How to watch the 2021 Tour de France: live stream cycling in Canada
FloBikes is the place to tune in for live Tour de France coverage in Canada.
A monthly subscription will cost you $30 while a yearly account will set you back $150 ($12.50 per month), which will give you access to coverage of major cycling events throughout the year.
Not in Canada to catch that FloBikes stream? Well you know the answer by now... using a VPN is the way to make sure you don't miss a moment.
How to watch 2021 Tour de France: live stream cycling in New Zealand
New Zealanders can watch the Tour de France on Sky Sport, which is available as part of a range of pay TV packages.
Subscribers are able to watch online using the country's Sky Go service, while cord-cutters and anyone else can try the Sky Sport Now streaming-only platform - where a weekly pass costs just $19.99.
If you're away from New Zealand right now, use a VPN and you'll be streaming the cycling in no time at all.
How does the Tour de France work?
The Tour de France is the oldest - and, depending on who you ask, the most difficult and prestigious - of cycling's three Grand Tours, the other two being the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.
This year's race is the 108th edition of the Tour, which is affectionately known as La Grande Boucle (the big loop), and unlike last year's event, which was fully contained within the borders of La République, this year's edition will stray into neighbouring Andorra.
The Tour de France is split into into 21 stages, each of which is completed every day - and there are two days set aside for the riders to rest. Stage 1 takes place on June 26 and Stage 21 is scheduled for July 18, with the breaks in the action set for July 5 and July 6 (both Mondays).
At the end of each daily stage, the rider who crosses the finish line first is the 'Stage Winner', while the cyclist with the quickest overall time from the very start of the first day of the race gets to wear the iconic Yellow Jersey.
The overall winner of the Tour de France is the rider with the quickest time for all the stages put together.
However, two of the stages are individual time trials (Stages 5 and 20), during which each of the riders will race to set the fastest time, without their teammates helping out by creating slipstreams.
There are several secondary competitions and prizes at stake too, including the points classification (leader indicated by a green jersey), mountains classification (polka dot jersey), young rider classification (white jersey), team classification (numbers on a yellow background rather than white), and combativity award (red bib).
Tour de France route: how long is the 2021 Tour de France and where does it start?
The opening stage, known as the 'Grand Départ', of the 2021 Tour de France will take place in Brest on June 26, while the the 21st and final stage sets off from Chatou and finishes in traditional style with a sprint down the Champs-Élysées in Paris on July 18.
The 2021 Tour de France covers approximately 3,417.5km (2,123.5 miles). There are eight flat stages, one hilly stage, 10 mountain stages (four of which are described as "medium" mountain stages), two individual time trials, and two rest days. For the second consecutive year, there's no team time trial.
At 249.5km (155 miles), Stage 7 on July 2 is the race's longest stage, and the longest leg of the Tour de France in 21 years. The Stage 5 individual time trial on June 30 will be the shortest, at 27.2km (16.9 miles).
Who are the favorites for Tour de France 2021?
Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič thrilled us last year, and it's difficult to look past the Slovenian duo at the 2021 race.
Roglič had the general classification in the bag, until a heroic performance from his fellow countryman on the penultimate day saw Pogačar storm his way to the yellow jersey, which he took along with the white jersey and polka dot jersey too.
It was heartbreaking for Roglič, and we can't wait to see them duke it out again.