The 2021 Tour de France will start in Copenhagen, according to reports in the Danish and French press. It will be the first time that the Tour de France has visited Denmark and only the second time that one of the three Grand Tours has started in the country.
It will also be the most northerly start for the Tour de France in its history. Copenhagen is no stranger to major road cycling events, having hosted the 2011 World Championships.
There was some confusion around the news after the initial reports were subsequently deleted and republished, while Denmark's financial minister Kristian Jensen posted to Twitter about the news before deleting it.
French publication Europe 1 reported that Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had confirmed to them that Copenhagen would play host to the 2021 race – Brussels will host this year's start while Nice will be the start location for 2020.
"It will be Copenhagen for the first time in 2021. They are the meeting between the world's largest cycling race and the world's largest bicycle city," Prudhomme is reported as saying.
Danish website dr.dk says that it has a copy of the audio file with Prudhomme confirming the news that Copenhagen would host the 2021 Grand Depart. However, 10 minutes after the initial Europe 1 report was published online, it was taken down. Europe 1 has since republished the story.
According to Europe 1, the three-day Grand Depart will start with a 13-kilometre individual time trial. It will be "all, flat, ultra-fast, and will pass in front of the most beautiful royal monuments," Prudhomme told Europe 1.
The second stage will be a 190km ride from Roskilde and Nyborg, which could be an early chance for crosswinds to spice things up. The final Danish stage will start in the Fjords and the town of Vejle and finishes after 170 kilometres in Sonderborg.
To accommodate the Danish start, a rest day will follow the Grand Depart as it did in the 2012 Giro d'Italia when the Italian Grand Tour started in Herning.
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