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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
Fans come out to greet Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard in his home town of Glyngøre . Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

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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SPORT

Denmark’s World Cup gear ‘toned down’ as Hummel protests against Qatar

Denmark will wear a "toned down" kit at this year's World Cup in protest at Qatar's human rights record, sportswear maker Hummel said Wednesday, setting off a furious response from the Gulf state.

Denmark’s World Cup gear 'toned down' as Hummel protests against Qatar

Qatar’s organising committee accused Hummel of “trivialising” the country’s efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and called on the Danish football federation, DBU, to intervene.

The logo of the Danish sportswear brand and the Danish national badge are both barely visible on the shirts designed for the World Cup that starts on November 20th.

Several competing nations and rights groups have criticised Qatar’s rights record and FIFA for allowing the event to be held in the conservative Muslim state where homosexuality is illegal.

Hummel wrote in a post on Instagram that the new jerseys were “a protest against Qatar and its human rights record.

“We don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives,” the company said in social media posts that referred to reports of casualties among migrant labourers working on Qatar’s mega infrastructure projects.

“We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn’t the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation,” it said.

In addition to the main red strip and a second jersey in white, a black and grey third strip was a sign of “mourning”, the kit company said.

Denmark’s training jerseys will carry “critical messages” after the two sponsors agreed to have their logos replaced. 

Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, gave a stern response that highlighted “significant reforms to the labour system” to protect workers and “ensuring improved living conditions for them.”

The committee added that there has been “robust and transparent dialogue” with the Danish federation, the DBU, that had led to “a better understanding of the progress made”.

“We dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.”

Qatar says that only three labourers died in work-related accidents during the construction of the eight stadiums in the Doha region. It has been accused of under reporting deaths on wider construction however.

The committee said Qatar’s reforms had been “recognised” by some international human rights groups “as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives”.

“Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey,” said the statement.

“We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel.”

Qatar has also been criticised for its treatment of the LGBTQ community. 

England captain Harry Kane has said he will wear a “OneLove” armband during the World Cup as part of a Dutch campaign to take a stand against discrimination.

France, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Wales and Switzerland are also supporting the campaign.

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