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Five great spots to see the Tour de France in Denmark

Excitement is ramping up in Denmark as the Tour de France, hugely popular in the Nordic country, prepares to take off from Copenhagen on Friday.

Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral from afar. Tour de France competitors will compete for the yellow jersey in the Danish town. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The first three stages of this year’s Tour will take place in Denmark. The Danish Grand Depárt was originally scheduled to take place in 2021 before being delayed a year due to Covid-19.

The three Danish stages take in capital Copenhagen, the South Jutland countryside and the iconic Great Belt Bridge before the Tour continues in France.

With hundreds of kilometres of Danish road to be covered by the riders, we can’t cover every vantage point on the route, but here are five locations where the spectacle is sure to be impressive.

Dronning Louises Bro. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Dronning Louises Bro (Bridge), Copenhagen

The 13-kilometre time trial route for the first stage of the tour on Friday crosses Dronning Louises Bridge, which connects the diverse Nørrebro neighbourhood with the historic centre of the Danish capital.

A popular spot for social gatherings, particularly in the summer when groups of young people gather on its benches and grassy banks, the bridge offers an atmospheric view across Copenhagen’s lakes.

The location of a festival atmosphere during other sporting events – notably the Copenhagen Marathon and Half Marathon – the bridge is sure to be a noisy spot to cheer on the riders.

Parken Stadium, Copenhagen

The home stadium of the Danish national football team, Parken is located in the Østerbro neighbourhood opposite a large park, Fælledparken.

The Tour riders will charge past Parken along the broad Øster Alle before turning right onto Jagtvej and completing a triangle by returning along Østerbrogade towards the junction known, aptly, as Trianglen.

The area is a sporty and active one any time and is sure to be buzzing with the arrival of the Tour.

Stage 1 map and details via Tour de France

READ ALSO: How will the Tour de France affect traffic and travel in Denmark?

Roskilde Cathedral

The 202-kilometre second stage of the Tour starts on July 2nd in Roskilde, near the Viking Ship Museum on the shores of the Isefjord, and makes its way through the medieval town and onwards around the coast of Zealand before what promises to be a spectacular final stretch across the Great Belt Bridge.

Roskilde Cathedral, a UNESCO world heritage site and burial place of Danish royalty, stands out from any vantage point in the old town as its two spires climb skywards.

Stage 2 map and details via Tour de France

Decorations in Vejle ahead of the Tour. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Vejle Mølle

The third stage on Sunday July 3rd sets out in unusually hilly territory by Danish standards. Beginning at the harbour in Vejle, the riders will tackle undulating and at times steep roads before circling back into the fjord city and climbing uphill past its old windmill, Vejle Mølle.

The old mill is one of the most recognisable sights in the town and overlooks the fjord, providing a view of two modern architectural works which are also a source of local pride: the “Bølge” wave building and Fjordenhus, a harbourside art museum designed by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.

Christiansfeld

The second half of the third stage is on flat, inland terrain, meaning the riders will probably avoid the worst of the brisk winds usually present in more coastal parts of Denmark.

At 91 kilometres, the tour reaches Christiansfeld, another of Denmark’s UNESCO world heritage sites. Featured in the film “A Royal Affair”, the old town is filled with straight streets and right angles providing a platform for some intermediate sprints.

Stage 3 map and details via Tour de France

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SPORT

Captain Kjær says Denmark still ‘amazing’ despite World Cup flop

Simon Kjær insisted that Denmark are still a top team despite their dismal 1-0 defeat to Australia which knocked them out of the World Cup at the group stage.

Captain Kjær says Denmark still 'amazing' despite World Cup flop

Denmark had come into the tournament on a high after getting to the semi-finals of last year’s European Championship and beating world champions France home and away in the Nations League.

But they slumped out of tournament in humiliating fashion, finishing bottom of Group D with just one point and a single goal scored after Mathew Leckie fired Australia into the last 16.

“We didn’t deliver as a team, massively disappointed but that’s part of football, we were flying very high in the Euro, now we’re pretty far down,” said captain Kjær, who sat out of Wednesday’s match injured.

“We will have to take all the beatings and that’s right, we need to take everything. We’re an amazing team, still with a lot of quality and we have to learn from this.”

Denmark were one of the country’s most heavily involved in the rainbow-themed captain’s armband controversy which dominated the early stages of the World Cup.

But Kjær said that his team had been “mentally in a good place” despite the off-field row over LGBTQ rights in Qatar which dominated the early stages of the tournament.

“I saw fire in the boys’ eyes before we went out so there was a strong belief that we could turn this around,” said Kjær.

“We were just missing a bit, we were not able to put it out there today and that is probably the picture of our World Cup. But my mindset about the quality of the team hasn’t changed.

“We’re still a fantastic team and we still have a lot of quality. This is not our standard but I’m a very big fan of the team, so you win as a team and you lose as a team.”

READ ALSO: Danish TV reporter cut off by Qatar security staff during live broadcast

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