Copenhagen, capital city of Denmark, has put a bid in to host a future Grand Départ of the Tour de France. The Scandinavian country has form for hosting Grand Tour stages, following its start of the 2012 Giro d'Italia in Herning.
Following the success of recent foreign Grand Départs – particularly Yorkshire and Utrecht – cities and countries are more keen than ever to welcome the opening stages of the Tour. Copenhagen has formally expressed its wish to host the Grand Départ between 2019 and 2021.
Danish House in Paris overlooks the Champs-Élysées, the now traditional finish to the three-week race. Frank Jensen, the Mayor of Copenhagen and Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister of Trade and Growth, delivered a message from their Prime Minister to Tour director Christian Prudhomme.
“We are proud to receive Copenhagen's official candidature, which underlines the attraction that the Tour can have outside of France", Prudhomme said upon receiving the application.
He continued: "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.”
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The city has proposed a three-day event, which includes an opening 10km time trial, followed by two flat stages. These will visit Copenhagen's neighbouring islands with finishes at Odense and Sonderborg.
Such finishes will be similar in character to the end of stage two at the 2015 Tour de France in the Netherlands, where a reduced bunch sprinted on an exposed bridge and others lost time behind splits in the peloton caused by strong winds.
A time trial followed by two days of echelons could certainly serve as an early warning to the general classification contenders and possibly see the yellow jersey change hands several times before the race reaches France.
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