Denmark’s journey towards hosting the Grand Depart of the Tour de France began seven years ago in November 2015, when the news first came about the bid. Within eight months, an official bid was proposed by the government and then mayor Frank Jensen.
So maybe Lukas Graham was supposed to play their classic song ‘7 Years’ at the official Grand Depart ceremony in Tivoli on June 29, where all the cyclists in the race were presented on stage. After all, the lyrics contain the lines: “Go and make some friends, otherwise you will be lonely.” Given the worldwide approval of the way Denmark has hosted the Grand Depart, the country has made lots of new friends!
A total of 22 teams, including most of the 176 riders who participated in the race, first cycled a mini route through central Copenhagen. First, they crossed the newly opened footbridge Lille Langebro, before going down Vester Voldgade. Then they turned left on the Town Hall Square, the Town Hall Square, where the idea of hosting the Tour de France began to sprout seven years ago. Pictured above is defending champion Tadej Pogačar (right).
The biggest cheer in Tivoli was reserved for the Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard (in the middle right), who was joined by Jumbo-Visma co-captain Primož Roglič (right).
On Friday 1 July at 16.00, Denmark made history when the Tour de France began its northernmost stage ever in Copenhagen. If it were to be remembered where it was, the heavy rain was relentless during the first 90 minutes. Nevertheless, the reception from the locals was delightful to say the least.
Meanwhile, Jumbo-Visma racer Wout van Aert ended up on the 13.2 km long time trial route, becoming number two – not only in the time trial, but in all three stages on Danish soil. Probably he could not wait to go to France. When the race resumed on Tuesday, he promptly won the 4th stage!
Did it, got the t-shirt – yes, they got literally all the t-shirts. On Saturday 2 July, it was the Danish audience’s turn to drive the time trial track in a competition called ‘Tour De København’, and their prize for finishing was a nice yellow t-shirt. Expect eBay to be flooded with these over the next two decades.
Between 08.00 and 12.00, tens of thousands showed up in Fælleparken to take up the challenge – although to be fair enough, many have just started on the route where they could find a hole in the barricades. Copenhagen’s Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen welcomed Crown Prince Frederik to officially start the race.
It is fair to say that the whole field – in contrast to the spectators on the field when they met the crosswinds on the Great Belt Bridge on Saturday afternoon – absolutely shone!
If there was one gripping footnote to the Grand Depart, it was the many tributes to the popular cyclist and TV2 commentator Chris Anker Sørensen who were tragically killed while cycling in his spare time in Belgium in September last year. The time trial had hundreds of messages and portraits (left), but they could not compete with the work of the two 60 kg robots that reproduced a 40 by 30 meter drawing of the big man at Holbæk Sportsby, which the TV cameras picked. up when the Tour de France passed the northwestern Zealand city on Saturday. Local fundraisers raise money for Sørensen’s family (who receive the first 500,000 kroner) and the charity Children, Youth and Grief (children, young people and grief). The collection stops on 5 September, which would have been Sørensen’s 38th birthday
Source: The Nordic Page