Cycling fans in Denmark will have to wait until 2022 to watch the Tour de France on their home roads with next year’s planned Grand Départ there put back 12 months to avoid a clash with the country hosting matches at the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament, postponed from this summer.
The forced delay of the Danish Grand Départ reflects a domino effect on major sporting events brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 race had been due to start on 2 July, but last week the UCI gave organisers ASO the green light to bring it forward by a week to 26 June, to avoid it overlapping with the postponed Tokyo Olympics, which begin on 24 July next year.
And with Copenhagen due to host a quarter final of UEFA Euro 2020 on 28 June – the Danish capital will also have hosted three group matches earlier in the month – that made it impossible to welcome cycling’s biggest race at the same time.
Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen confirmed to Danish television channel TV2 that the city would not now be hosting the Tour de France this year, with the Grand Départ now scheduled for 1-3 July 2022.
“I am happy that we have succeeded in securing a Danish Tour start in 2022,” he said.
“Many of us had been looking forward to getting the Tour de France to Denmark next year, and now unfortunately we have to wait a little longer.
“On the other hand, the Danes can look forward to an even bigger yellow folk festival in 2022, when the start of the Tour will not be squeezed between the European Championships and Olympics, and we have hopefully got the coronavirus at a greater distance,” he added.
While the new dates now have to be agreed with local transport authorities, no changes are anticipated to the three stages in Denmark, which are as follows:
Stage 1: Copenhagen (ITT), 13 km
Stage 2: Roskilde > Nyborg, 199 km
Stage 3: Vejle > Sønderborg, 182 km
French media reports have previously suggested that should Copenhagen be forced to abandon its plans to host the start of the 2021 race, the Grand Départ will be held in Brittany instead.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.