Tour de France organisers confirm 2021 race will start abroad in Copenhagen

Rumours began to circulate on Wednesday with the organisers releasing the details the following day

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The 2021 Tour de France will start in Copenhagen, race organisers have confirmed.

Denmark will host the opening three stages of the Tour, including an individual time trial on the opening day and two road stages.

The Tour de France has started in Denmark, but has made its way north to Yorkshire and east into Germany for previous departs. The city hosted the World Championships in 2011, when Mark Cavendish won the road race.

Rumour circulated on Wednesday (February 20), with Tour organiser ASO confirming the details on Thursday morning (February 21).

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Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: “The Tour de France is the biggest cycling race on Earth, but we still have much to learn.

“The Danes set an outstanding example by making bicycles their leading means of transport in urban areas.

“In Copenhagen, we will meet fans who acclaim the champions of world cycling. The energy that supporters and curious locals will channel to riders, followers and viewers of the Tour will most assuredly be a great source of inspiration to succeed in our greatest challenge – seeing the future on a bike.”

Stage one will be a 13km time trial around Copenhagen, followed by a 190km road stage from Roskilde to Nyborg for stage two.

Finally, stage three will be another road stage over 170km from Vejle to Sønderborg.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rusmussen said: “I am both very happy and very proud that the Tour de France is coming to Denmark.

“Denmark is one of the greatest cycling nations in the world, so to be able to welcome the best bike riders in the world and host the world’s most iconic cycling race is an honour and a privilege.

“The Danes are more than ready to host one of the greatest sporting events in the world. I really look forward to the summer of 2021.” 

The first Tour abroad was in 1954. Of the three Grand Tours, only the Giro d’Italia has begun in Denmark having started in Herning, home of Danish Tour winner Bjarne Riis in 2012.

In 2019, the Tour starts in Brussels and in 2020, it starts at home in Nice.

It is unclear how the Tour will travel back to France. Unlike the Giro d’Italia, it usually does not stop for an early rest day. The Giro d’Italia last year included one after three stages in Israel to return to its homeland.