The Tour de France Grand Départ in Copenhagen has been moved to 2022 in order to avoid a clash with next summer’s rescheduled European Championships football tournament.
The 2021 Tour was originally slated to get underway on Friday, July 2 with a 13km time trial in Copenhagen, followed by two further road stages in Denmark ahead of an early rest day to allow the peloton travel onwards to France.
The postponement of both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Euro 2020 until next summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, has forced the Danish Grand Départ to be delayed until 2022.
The rearranging of the Olympics means that the 2021 Tour will start a week earlier than originally planned, on the weekend of June 26, and this in turn ensured that the Grand Départ would clash with Copenhagen’s hosting of a second-round game at the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament.
On Monday, the local organising committee of the Denmark Grand Départ confirmed that the Tour will now start in Copenhagen in 2022 instead of in 2021.
“I am happy that we have succeeded in securing a Danish Tour start in 2022. Many of us have been looking forward to getting the Tour de France to Denmark next year, and now we unfortunately have to wait a little longer,” said mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen in a statement published on the organising committee's website.
“On the other hand, Danes can look forward to an even bigger bang of a yellow folk festival in 2022, when the Tour start will not be squeezed by the European Championships and the Olympics, and we have hopefully got the coronavirus at a greater distance.”
Danish minister for Trade and Industry described the postponement as “the best solution in these special circumstances.”
In a statement on Monday, the Grand Départ Copenhagen Denmark said that it had “unanimously chosen to accept ASO's offer to move the Danish Tour start to 2022,” adding that “a formal agreement must be signed with ASO, and there must be a political process with approval by the city councils and the state.”
It is expected that the 2022 Tour start will retain the three Danish stages that were already planned for 2021. The race will thus begin with a 13km individual time trial in Copenhagen, while stage 2 will bring the peloton from Roskilde to Nyborg. The third and final Danish stage is a 182km leg from Vejle to Sønderborg.
ASO has yet to announce a replacement site for the Grand Départ of the 2021 Tour, but Le Télégramme has reported that the region of Brittany is in the running to host the start.
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