2021 Grand Départ details unveiled

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VEJLE, Denmark (AFP) — Precise details of Copenhagen’s Grand Départ for the 2021 Tour de France were confirmed Tuesday with three days of “panoramic” racing to showcase the beauty of cycling-mad Denmark.

News of the Danish itinerary was first revealed by local organizers a year ago. On Tuesday ASO, which operates the Tour, officially confirmed the route and offered exact details.

Danish Industry Minister Simon Kollerup described “cobbled cities, wavy yellow fields and tourist attractions that tell special stories about Denmark,” along the three-day route.

“The race takes in a staggering panorama,” ASO president Christian Prudhomme said. “The first three stages will showcase the landscape of Denmark and could produce a wide range of racing scenarios.”

The race will open on July 2, 2021, with a 13-kilometer individual time trial through pancake- flat downtown Copenhagen. Riders will speed past the city’s iconic Little Mermaid statue, created in homage to the fairytale writer Hans Cristian Andersen.

Stage 2 goes through vast pastures and hugs the coast on a 199km run from Roskilde to Nyborg, with a lengthy stretch of bridges in the finale where crosswinds could be a factor.

A bunch sprint looks likely at the end of a scenic 182km run from Vejle to Sønderborg rolling alongside fjords on the final day.

“Power riders, breakaway experts and sprinters will all get a chance to shine – it’s a compendium of bicycle racing on flat terrain,” Prudhomme said.

The 2021 Grand Départ in Denmark, which follows recent Tour starts outside of France like the 2019 Grand Départ in Brussels, will be the Tour’s northernmost excursion yet.

This year’s Tour will start on French roads in Nice on June 26.

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