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TOUR DE FRANCE

Tour de France says ‘non merci’ to notorious Danish cycling hill

The Tour de France will avoid Denmark’s perhaps-most challenging hill for bicycle racers when the event’s opening stages take place in the Scandinavian country in 2021.

Tour de France says 'non merci' to notorious Danish cycling hill
Postnord Danmark Rundt competitors on Kiddesvej in Vejle in 2011. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

Although the Tour de France peloton will pass through hilly city Vejle in southeastern Jutland, it will not take in Kiddesvej, a steep road in the southern part of the city known to Danish cycling enthusiasts for its challenging gradient.

Vejle Municipality had hoped the Tour de France route would include Kiddesvej, but that will not be the case.

“Vejle wanted it, but it does not give any sporting value because it will be so early in the stage that the riders will barely notice they’re going upwards,” Alex Pedersen, director with the Danish section of the Tour de France company, told newspaper Politiken.

“And I’m quite reluctant to send the advertising caravan, with 130-150 cars, up Kiddesvej, in case their engines blow up or clutches break. That would cause chaos,” he added.

The Kiddesvej incline is 450 metres long and has an average gradient of 11.1 percent. The steepest section has a gradient of around 19 percent.

The road is part of Danish cycling tour Postnord Danmark Rundt and often plays a key role in that race’s outcome.

Tour de France is yet to confirm the final route for the three stages to take place in Denmark.

READ ALSO: 2021 Tour de France to kick off in Denmark

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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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