Copenhagen bids for Tour de France grand depart
A new candidate has added its name to the list of cities wanting to host the start of the Tour de France. An eventual visit to Copenhagen would lead the peloton towards the northernmost destination in the Tour’s history.
The view of the final finish of the Tour de France (traditionally held on the Champs Elysées) from the balcony of the Danish House in Paris is breath-taking. It is in this naturally predestined setting that the Mayor of Copenhagen and the Danish Minister of Trade also carried a message from their Prime Minister, to invite Christian Prudhomme to hand over the city’s application to host the start of the Tour. European capital cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Luxembourg, London and of course Paris have already served as the backdrop for the start of the race.
Copenhagen has formally expressed its wish to join this club by 2019-2021, by preparing a programme of three-days of racing that include an opening 10km time trial, followed by two flat stages associating the neighbouring islands with finishes at Odense and Sonderborg. The sporting content characterised by the crossing of the many bridges that allow traffic onto the archipelago that promises exposure to wind will infinitely vary the scenarios provided that the proposal be accepted! All options are now being considered…
Christian Prudhomme, Director, Tour de France, said: “We are proud to receive Copenhagen’s official candidature, which underlines the attraction that the Tour can have outside of France. Showcasing the Tour abroad is to also showcase France. Of course, it would be a huge challenge because it would be the northernmost start in the Tour’s history.”
Frank Jensen, Mayor of Copenhagen, added: “Copenhagen is known around the world as a cycling city and the Tour is one of the most liked sporting events among Danes. This would be a unique opportunity to show off our country and to encourage the rest of the world to take up cycling.”
Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister of Trade and growth, said: “Denmark has a lot to offer the Tour de France. This is a cycling nation and we could show how cycling plays a major role in our daily lives. The stages we have planned will also offer a sumptuous backdrop for the peloton and television viewers, between historic cities and emblematic landmarks”.