This is the unmissable cycling event of the beginning of the summer! From 14 to 18 September, the Skoda Luxembourg Tour takes place. About a hundred national and international cyclists from the great international and continental teams will cover more than 720 kilometres throughout the Grand Duchy in order to win the coveted golden jersey of the best cyclist.
The year's top cycling event
The Tour de Luxembourg is one of the country's top sports events. Every year, some of the most prestigious teams and riders with international renown take part. The participants embark on a tour that is quite difficult, due to the terrain features of the country.
The race runs over 5 stages:
- Tuesday 14 September: Luxembourg-Kirchberg (140km)
- Wednesday 15 September: Steinfort - Eschdorf (186.1km)
- Thursday 16 September: Mondorf-les-Bains - Mamer (189.3km)
- Friday 17 September: Dudelange - Dudelange (time trial, 25.4km)
- Saturday 18 September: Mersch – Luxembourg-Limpertsberg (174.6 km)
A total of 21 teams compete on the roads of the Grand Duchy. Among them no less than eight UCI World Team, twelve UCI Pro Teams and one UCI Continental Team: Luxembourgish team Leopard Pro Cycling. Moreover, the winning team of the 2021 Tour de France, UAE Team Emirates, is also competing. Expect a captivating race!
The Tour de Luxembourg traces its beginnings to 1935. Four distinctive jerseys are awarded each year:
- the gold jersey for the leader in the general ranking,
- the blue jersey for the ranking by points,
- the red jersey for the best climber,
- The yellow jersey for the best young rider.
Luxembourgers at the start
For this edition of the Tour de Luxembourg, no less than seven Luxembourgish riders are on the starting grid. For one of them, it will be the closing race to his extraordinary career.
In 2021 we see the return of Bob Jungels for his 3rd participation. During his career, Jungels has racked up an impressive track record, as Luxembourg road racing champion, world time trial champion and participant in many a Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta. He takes part for the French AG2R team.
At the heart of the same team, another Luxembourger, himself a cycling veteran, has announced his retirement. Ben Gastauer has been member of the AG2R team for twelve years and his 4th participation in the Tour de Luxembourg will be a fitting goodbye. The multiple Luxembourg road racing and time trial champion, who took part in no less than 4 Tour de France, 6 Giro d'Italia and 3 Vuelta, will bid farewell after a last race in front of his family and friends.
For Alex Kirsch (Trek Segafredo), it's his 8th participation at the Tour de Luxembourg. His experience has already earned him a few places on the podium.
For several seasons, the Schleck brothers had the cycling world in their hands. Today, it may be the brothers Tom and Luc Wirtgen (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces WB) who will continue the Schleck brothers' legacy to make Luxembourgers dream.
Arthur Kluckers and Cédric Pries (Leopard Pro Cycling) complete the list of Luxembourgish riders and their names will no doubt turn up in future competitions.
Luxembourg and Cycling
Luxembourg's riders have been distinguishing themselves since the start of cycling races at the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed, it's the cyclists who have written the most beautiful pages of the Luxembourg sport.
Among them, four have won the Tour de France until today: François Faber (1909), Nicolas Frantz (1927 et 1928), Charly Gaul, nicknamed the 'Angel of the mountain' (1958) and Andy Schleck (2010). Many othes have won stages or donned the yellow jersey.
Luxembourg's cyclists have also written one of the most inspiring of chapters of the Tour de France, that of the brothers Andy and Frank Schleck. The latter won two stages of the Tour, in 2006 and 2009. He finished 5th in the general individual time classification in 2009 and 3rd in 2011. His younger brother Andy finished 2nd overall in 2009 and 2011 and managed an extraordinary feat when he won the 2010 edition of the Tour. For three consecutive years, (2008, 2009 and 2010), he was also Best Young Rider of the Tour. He also won three stages of the Tour, two in 2010 and one in 2011.
The Schleck-Mania boosted the popularity of cycling in Luxembourg enormously.