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TOUR DE FRANCE

Tour de France gets rapturous Danish reception in Copenhagen

Raucous crowds at the Copenhagen Tivoli theme park gave the Tour de France the kind of reception organisers could only have dreamed of on Wednesday.

Team Jumbo-Visma in copenhagen
Team Jumbo-Visma passing through Tivoli before the team presentation of Tour de France in Copenhagen. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The loudest cheers were for Danish riders such as Jonas Vingegaard and for the biggest names led by champion Tadej Pogacar.

Staff at the park said only rock stars had attracted such crowds before.

Pogacar, who rides for UAE Team Emirates’, said he was excited too.

“As a team we are ready, and me and as an individual I’m ready too, so I can’t wait to start of Friday with the time trial,” the Slovenian said.

Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik attended the official unveiling of the teams, two days before the 21-day Tour opens with a 13km time-trial, the first of three stages in Denmark.

Tivoli Park has around 25 fairground rides. On Wednesday the 176 cyclists added one, riding round a special 1km track to be greeted by thousands of smiling, cheering and filming fans.

“I feel great, especially today with all these people in Copenhagen, you can only be happy.” said Pogacar.

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TOUR DE FRANCE

Tour champion Vingegaard returns to hero’s welcome in village home

Jonas Vingegaard received a hero's welcome from thousands of fans as he returned to his village home on Thursday following his Tour de France triumph.

Tour champion Vingegaard returns to hero's welcome in village home

Over 20,000 people packed the village of Glyngøre, nestled on the edge of a fjord which normally has a population of just 1,400, to greet the rider who lives there with his wife Trine and daughter Frida.

Tens of thousands had also greeted the rider on Wednesday in Copenhagen three days after he became the second Dane to win the Tour de France after a gruelling race which started in his native Denmark.

“A thousand thanks for supporting me for four weeks. It’s very touching that so many people have come,” the 25-year-old said from the podium. 

For a time wearing a horned helmet in Danish colours, the Jumbo Visma rider was driven through the streets in Copenhagen, high-fiving fans.

Many had driven for hours to see him, like Annette Anker, who with her family cut short their holidays in Croatia to be there.

“It’s once in a lifetime. It’s really an event and a celebration for everyone in Denmark,” she told Danish television TV2. 

The second Dane to win the Grande Boucle after Bjarne Riis in 1996, the Jumbo-Visma cyclist was born and raised in Hillerslev, a village of 370 inhabitants on the shores of the North Sea, about 50km north of Glyngøre. 

The Scandinavian climbing specialist won the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday after dominating Slovenian favourite Tadej Pogacar, the two-time defending champion.

IN PICTURES: Vingegaard’s triumphant return to Copenhagen after Tour de France win

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