Copenhagen Grand Départ likely changing to 2022 as Italy eye first Tour de France start
Tour director Christian Prudhomme was in Bologna this week to hold talks with local officials
Copenhagen's Tour de France Grand Départ is looking likely to be pushed back a year to 2022, while Italy is also eyeing hosting its first-ever French Grand Tour start.
With the rescheduled 2021 Olympic cycling dates causing a clash with the Tour, organisers had asked Copenhagen officials to move the dates back a week, as the 2020 edition had originally to make room for the Tokyo Games.
However, with the also-postponed European football championships being moved back to 2021 and the Danish capital set to host some knockout games, accommodating both major sporting events was not deemed feasible.
A compromise appears to have now been reached, with the Danish Grand Départ moving to 2022, and Brittany said to have been offered the 2021 start.
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"There is no question that the Tour will not come to Denmark and Copenhagen," Frank Jesper, the mayor of Copenhagen, told Danish media outlet DR.dk.
"It is most likely that the Tour start in Denmark will be moved to 2022. We are trying to make it happen in 2021, but if we stick to 2021, it will be very squeezed. It will give better exposure to the race in Denmark if you wait a year and do not force the Tour start next year."
Meanwhile, plans for future editions of the Tour continue despite global pandemics and scheduling issues, with Tour director Christian Prudhomme travelling to Bologna to discuss a first-ever Italian Grand Départ in either 2023 or 2024.
"Another step forward for the arrival of the Grand Boucle for the first time in Italy, starting from Emilia-Romagna and from Firenze," tweeted the president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini.
Nice will host this year's Grand Départ, now starting on August 29. Meanwhile, the Giro d'Italia has unveiled the new opening stages of this year's Italian Grand Tour, with four Sicilian stages replacing the cancelled Hungarian Grande Partenza in Budapest.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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