Tour de France organiser reveals more details of 2021 Copenhagen Grand Départ
The race will kick off with three stages outside of France
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.
Christian Prudhomme, director of Tour de France, said: "The first few days of the Tour de France often set the tone and atmosphere of a race that develops into whatever the riders want to make of it over the following three weeks.
"It is an exciting prospect to think that in July 2021 we will be applying the final touches to the start in the heart of a city that breathes and lives cycling.
"The first three stages will showcase the landscapes of Denmark and give rise to a wide range of scenarios in which power riders, echelon experts and sprinters will all get a chance to shine — a compendium of bicycle racing on flat terrain."
Tour organiser ASO announced the start of the 2021 route in early 2019 but has now released further details of the opening three stages.
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.
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.
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.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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