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CYCLING

2021 Tour de France to kick off in Denmark

The 2021 Tour de France will start in Denmark with an opening stage in Copenhagen, organisers announced Wednesday.

2021 Tour de France to kick off in Denmark
Coming soon to a Danish location near you. File photo: JEFF PACHOUD/Ritzau Scanpix

Cycling's most iconic race will open with a team trial around the Danish capital, known for its pro-cycling policy.

Two other stages are scheduled to be held in Denmark, according to Europe 1: a coastal ride between Roskilde and Nyborg, followed by a stage between Vejle and Sønderborg.

The 2019 Tour, in July, starts in Brussels to celebrate the 50th anniversary of famed Belgian rider Eddy Merckx's first victory.

The first time the Tour went overseas was in 1954, to Amsterdam. Denmark becomes the 10th country to host the 'Grand depart' after the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, Britain, Spain, Ireland and Monaco.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen mayor optimistic over Tour de France start

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‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

The Danish Road Safety Council has put the Scandinavian country's Viking past to a hilarious new use: convincing macho Danish men to wear cycle helmets.

'The Vikings also wore helmets': Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad
Svend the Viking does not want to ruin his braids. Photo: &Co

The council’s new advert, “Helmet has always been a good idea”, brings together two somewhat incongruous aspects of Danish life — the country’s love of cycling and its Viking past, using humour to show up some of the silly reasons people give themselves not to wear cycle helmets. 

The advert starts with the imposing Viking chief Svend rousing his men for their next invasion of England. To rhythmic chanting and the blowing of horns, he mounts his steed, brandishing his thick and heavy sword. 

Then, suddenly, his young son comes running bearing his helmet. Svend ignores him, and utters a cry: “To the ships!”. 

After a pause, one of his men nervously asks: “shouldn’t you have a helmet on, Svend?”. 

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” Svend responds sheepishly. 

“I’m a careful rider,” he adds, slightly desperately.

“What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?” he adds. 

Then he roars, “It ruins my braids!” 

It’s only when his wife comes out that he finally dons his gleaming headpiece and with the cheers of his fellow marauders all around him makes his way to the longships. 

Then the slogan — “A helmet has been a good idea for all time” — appears on the screen in rune-like writing. 

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