Tour de France
Photo: Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Details of the first three stages of the 2021 Tour de France announced

Cobbles, 18 kilometers of bridge crossings, an individual time trial, and two, pancake-flat days for the sprinters.

Vejle, Denmark, Feb 4, 2020 – Precise details of Copenhagen’s Grand Départ of the 2021 Tour de France were confirmed Tuesday, with three days of panoramic racing which will showcase the beauty of cycling-mad Denmark.

News of the Danish itinerary was first revealed by local organizers a year ago. On Tuesday, ASO, which operates the Tour, officially confirmed the route and offered exact details.

Danish Industry Minister Simon Kollerup described, “cobbled cities, wavy yellow fields, and tourist attractions that tell special stories about Denmark,” along the three-day route, which marks the most northern excursion of the Tour de France.

“The race takes in a staggering panorama,” ASO president Christian Prudhomme said. “The first three stages will showcase the landscape of Denmark and could produce a wide range of racing scenarios.”

The announcement has been somewhat overshadowed by the news at the weekend of an investigation into Denmark’s top cyclist, Jakob Fuglsang.

Danish cyclist Bjarne Riis won the Tour de France in 1996 and bikes appear to be part of the national identity. Riis is the NTT Pro Cycling team Director.

Stage 1 of the 2020 Tour de France, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Map courtesy ASO/Tour de France.

A racing compendium
The opening stage on July 2, is a 13km individual time trial through pancake-flat downtown Copenhagen. Riders will speed past the city’s iconic Little Mermaid statue, created in homage to the fairytale writer Hans Cristian Andersen.

Stage 2 of the 2020 Tour de France. Map courtesy ASO/Tour de France.

On stage 2, the peloton crosses 18 kilometers of bridges—including the Great Belt Bridge—and crosswinds could create havoc.

The stage winds through vast pastures, and hugs the coast on a 199km run from Roskilde, to Nyborg.

Stage 3 of the 2020 Tour de France. Map courtesy ASO/Tour de France.

A bunch sprint looks likely at the end of Stage 3, a scenic, 182km run from Vejle to Sonderborg, rolling alongside fjords on the final day in Denmark.

“It’s going to be a celebration for Danes everywhere, on our streets and on the country roads,” said Copenhagen mayor Frank Jensen.

“At the same time, we get to show our beautiful, cycling nation to the whole world,” he said of the potential boon to tourism, which the nation hopes to attract by hosting the race.

Prudhomme said the excursion into Scandinavia would also provide a platform to the athletes.

“Power riders, breakaway experts, and sprinters will all get a chance to shine—it’s a compendium of bicycle racing on flat terrain.”

The 21-day Tour de France frequently departs from a foreign city. Recent, successful Tours which have started outside France, have been Brussels in 2019, Dusseldorf in 2017, and Yorkshire in 2014.

The 2020 Tour starts in Nice.