WATCH the 2021 Tour de France LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on SBS from June 26.
Bonjour Le Tour will present key highlights from the previous stage and look ahead to the upcoming day of racing as well as showcasing the regions of France that will feature as the beautiful backdrops.
Kate Bates will bring her expertise to the hosting role as the former track world champion, dual Olympian on the road and track, Commonwealth Games track gold medallist, road national champion and cycling commentator brings her formidable experience to the Tour de France.
SBS French's Christophe Mallet will join Bates as co-host, bringing his knowledge of French culture, fun attitude and long experience of working presenting cycling on the Zwift Cycling Central podcast and the SBS Tour de France coverage as a roving reporter.
They'll be joined by a range of guests, the show will celebrate all the iconic cultural moments that only the Tour can deliver and be broadcast on SBS from 5-6 pm on weekdays during the Tour de France and 5:30-6:30pm on weekends.
Ahead of the launch of Bonjour Le Tour, we asked Kate and Christophe to give an insight into what they'll serve up in each episode, who'll be dropping in, and what they're excited for in this year's installment of the great race around France.
What can audiences expect from Bonjour Le Tour, and why should they tune in?
Christophe: I hope Bonjour Le Tour will let the audience start the 'Tour de France day' with us. They can expect a fun and relaxed ambience, bringing the entertainment side of the event, as well as the competition side.
Kate: The TDF is such a beautiful and epic race, with so many facets. At Bonjour Le Tour we’re going to bring you the colour around the race. We’ll cover the back stories, the behind-the-scenes, and the stories of the regions & the riders.
Who are some of the guests that will feature on the show?
Christophe: Expect an array of guests, from your obvious cycling commentators such as Matthew Keenan or Dave McKenzie to your cycling 'tragics' and champions of the sport.
Kate: Expect former Tour greats, the creme de la creme of Australian cycling talent over the generations.
Who are you most looking forward to watching race in this year’s Tour?
Christophe: [Julian] Alaphillipe, Who else! I just love him, he has everything the race needs and I just hope he'll be setting the race alight once again. Jokes aside, I am 100% French, but also 100% Australian and I'm really looking forward to seeing Caleb Ewan increase his number of wins this year as the true champion he really is.
Kate: I am not so secretly hoping for a comeback of sorts for [Primoz] Roglic - it was heartbreaking to watch his campaign implode at such a pivotal moment in 2020. Naturally, I am also super keen to watch what Caleb Ewan can do. I’ve watched his progression from a young age through the sport, and I feel like he’s on a path to TDF history.
What sets Le Tour apart from other sporting events?
Christophe: Le Tour de France is the French version of what cricket could be for most Australians. It's the sound of summer, every French kid dreams of the champions. You often see groups of kids fighting like their champions on little hills after the race for bragging rights.
Personally, the Tour de France is also about connection, it's something you remember over the years watching with your parents or grandparents, while on summer holidays.
The Tour is also an immersive postcard from France, and as a Frenchman I'm incredibly proud to see how the country is projected but also received by our audience. Australians love France, France loves Australians, it's the best of both worlds!
Kate: I grew up watching the Tour highlights on VHS months after it finished, and delving through the newspaper for stage results each day. It always seemed so foreign and adventurous, and so many Australians fell in love with it bit by bit as we got drip fed more coverage as technology allowed, and I feel like it’s become the beacon of sporting heroics for Australians, even those who don’t usually follow cycling.
Maybe it’s the far away land, or the fact that while most of us know how to ride bikes, the thought of the TDF seems far beyond most people’s comprehension - making the riders gladiator-like in their feats.
Don't miss a pedal stroke of the 2021 Tour de France from 26 June to 18 July, as SBS Cycling Central brings you every moment LIVE, FREE and EXCLUSIVE via SBS, SBS VICELAND and streaming online via SBS On Demand and the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker App.