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TOUR DE FRANCE

Copenhagen mayor optimistic over Tour de France start

Copenhagen’s chances of hosting the start of the 2021 Tour de France are very good, according to Lord Mayor Frank Jensen.

Copenhagen mayor optimistic over Tour de France start
French president Emmanuel Macron presents Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen with a yellow cycling jersey during the former's state visit to Copenhagen. Photo: Statsministeriet/handout/Ritzau Scanpix

Jensen made his assessment after speaking with Christian Prudhomme, director of the iconic sporting event, who was in Copenhagen during French president Emmanuel Macron’s state visit earlier this week.

Macron himself said that Copenhagen could host part of the tour “very soon”, and provisions of 17 million kroner to help pay for the initiative were confirmed in Denmark's proposed 2019 budget on Thursday.

“I would say I’m well over 75 percent (certain),” Jensen told newspaper BT in relation to Copenhagen’s chances of hosting the start of the event three years from now.

The lord mayor has for several years been part of a delegation of leading Danish politicians that have worked to convince Prudhomme of Copenhagen’s suitability for the first three days of the tour.

A potential obstacle has been whether the Tour de France support infrastructure could be transported to and from Denmark quickly enough.

That issue has been resolved by Prudhomme’s agreement to place a rest day after the first three days of the tour, according to Jensen.

The Danish bid proposes the third day of the tour finish in Sønderborg, near the Scandinavian country’s southern border with Germany.

A subsequent rest day would provide enough time to transport the tour to France.

Jensen added that although he was optimistic over the event, nothing was confirmed at this stage.

“It’s not done yet and it won’t be done until negotiations on the overall terms are complete,” he told BT.

READ ALSO: Denmark to host start of Tour de France soon: Macron after Copenhagen bike ride

TOUR DE FRANCE

Danish Tour de France stages postponed until 2022

Denmark was originally scheduled to host the three opening stages of the Tour de France next year. The stages will now not take place until 2022.

Danish Tour de France stages postponed until 2022
File photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish-hosted stages had been subject to some uncertainty following the disruption to worldwide sport caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. A delay has preserved the event , although it leaves cycling fans in Denmark with a two-year wait to see the tour on their home turf.

The three Danish Tour de France stages are now scheduled for July 1st, 2nd and 3rd 2022, Copenhagen’s lord mayor Frank Jensen told DR.

“I am happy that the holding company has now reached an agreement and we are saying ‘yes please’ to moving the tour to 2022,” said Jensen, who is also chairman of the board on the company set up to operate the Danish bid for the tour.

Costs for the rearrangement will amount to 5.8 million kroner, to be shared between tour organiser ASO, the Tour de France itself and Danish interests, DR reports.

 

Municipalities in cities hosting the start and finishing lines of the Danish stages will be responsible for covering associated extra costs.

Organisers reached the decision to move the tour back a second time, preferring the choice to two other options: moving it back a week in 2021 or cancelling the Danish event altogether.

An overlap with Copenhagen’s status as a venue city for the 2021 UEFA European Championships in football – also put back a year because of coronavirus – was the primary obstacle with regard to hosting in 2021.

READ ALSO: Here are the routes for the Danish stages of the 2021 Tour de France

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