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ASO details Grand Départ route for 2021 Tour de France

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Team Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas – the 2018 winner – celebrate victory on the Champs-Elysées in Paris
2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Team Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas – the 2018 winner – celebrate victory on the Champs-Elysées in Paris (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) has provided route details of the 2021 Tour de France Grand Départ that will take place from July 2-4 in Denmark. At an official presentation on Tuesday, event director Christian Prudhomme provided course maps and profiles for the opening three stages that will travel through host cities Copenhagen, Roskilde, Nyborg, Vejle and Sønderborg.

"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," Prudhomme said. 

"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."

Copenhagen announced four years ago its application to host the opening stages for the Tour de France. Last year, Prudhomme confirmed that bid in the Danish press, making it the northernmost Grand Départ in the event’s history. It will be the first time that the Tour de France has visited Denmark.

ASO revealed the profiles of the first three stages at the presentation in Vejle. Although it had already announced the distances and the host cities of the 2021 Tour de France’s opening three stages last February, there have been some minor changes to the lengths of stage 2 and 3. 

In addition, Danish trade union Dansk Metal have become the 2021 Grand Départ's first Danish partner as an Official Fan. 

"We are very pleased that we have entered into this sponsorship," said Danish Metal Vice President René Nielsen. "There is no doubt that the beginning of the Grande Boucle in Denmark will be a huge experience for a lot of Danes and at Dansk Metal we want to contribute to that."

Grand Départ route for 2021 Tour de France

Stage 1: Copenhagen to Copenhagen, 13km

Stage 1 individual time trial profile for the 2021 Tour de France

Stage 1 individual time trial profile for the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: ASO)

The race will begin on Friday, July 2, with a 13km individual time trial in Copenhagen. Organisers have stated that it is a pancake-flat course that will open the door to record-high average speeds. 

Although the course winds its way through the city through upwards of 20 corners, ASO stated that none of them are sharp and that there is only one tight corner with 4km to go where riders will need to use their brakes.

Stage 2: Roskilde to Nyborg, 199km

Stage 2 profile for the 2021 Tour de France

Stage 2 profile for the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: ASO)

Stage 2, on Saturday, July 3, will take the peloton on a 199km course between Roskilde and Nyborg. Roskilde is located west of Copenhagen on the Danish island of Zealand

The parcours is well-suited to the Classics specialists, and will take the riders over a 'windswept' final 18km section of bridges and cross the Great Belt before a run-in to Nyborg. 

There are three categorised climbs before the halfway point of the stage: the Côte d’Asnaes Indelukke (62.5km), the Côte d’Høve Straedev (73km) and the Côte de Kårup Strandbakke (83km), followed by one intermediate sprint in Kalundborg (124km).

Stage 3: Vejle to Sønderborg, 182km

Stage 3 profile for the 2021 Tour de France

Stage 3 profile for the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: ASO)

Stage 3, on Sunday, July 4, is 182km from Vejle to Sønderborg and could mark the first bunch sprint of the Tour de France. It will take the peloton from north to south along the coast, passed scenic fjords and into the finish city of Sønderborg.

There are three categorised climbs at the Côte de Koldingvej (27.5km), the Côte de Hejlsminde Strand (83km) and the Côte de Genner Strand (123.5km). There is also one intermediate sprint in Christianfeld (91km), sandwiched between the final two climbs.