Tour De France - Danemark
The historical race comes to Denmark in July.
Text: Mariano Anthony Davies
In recognition of Denmark as a biking nation, Tour de France 2022 will start off on 1 July this year in Copenhagen with a 13 km individual time trial. The world's best riders will take to the streets of Copenhagen in a fight for the famous Yellow Jersey.
Most Danes cycle in sun, rain, snow and wind. With 9 out of 10 Danes owning a bike, cycling in Denmark is more than just a hobby and a way of transporting yourself. It's a way of life.
Tour De France - first stage
Copenhagen has won prizes as the world's best cycling city and continues to be recognised as a perfect city for cyclists. This is further north than the Tour de France has ever been routed before and is a fitting gesture as many Danes travel to France to experience the race first-hand from the roadsides of France every year. When the Tour de France is suddenly hurtling through the streets of their own capital in 2022, it is easy to imagine the vast turnouts and red-and-white flags waving.
Along the Copenhagen route, the riders will pass iconic landmarks such as The Little Mermaid and Amalienborg, the official residence of the Danish royal family, where cobble-stoned roads will challenge them. Cycling fans will remember the 2011 UCI Road World Championships, which also took place in the heart of Copenhagen. In addition, the riders will pass the busiest two-way cycling lane in the world, Dronning Louise's Bro, which 40,000 cyclists cross every day.
Excitement will be exceptionally high in Copenhagen as the individual time trials are likely to result in breath-takingly close results. The route is short, flat and fast, covering 13 kilometres through broad streets and only a few sharp turns. However, a few well-performed turns can determine whether the Yellow Jersey is within a rider's reach or whether he will be far from the podium.
Tour De France - second stage
The 202-kilometre second stage of the race will start in Roskilde and end in Nyborg on the island of Funen (in the middle of Denmark). The riders will experience picturesque landscapes along fjords and over hills to end up at the Great Belt Bridge for the last 20 km of the stage, where crosswinds will be a potential challenge.
The second stage will demonstrate that not all Denmark is flat. It will be demanding from start to finish with 3 Category 4 climbs in Veddinge Bakker, after 62 kilometres, 72 kilometres and 84 kilometres. However, these climbs are just one more reason hopeful riders break away and create a leading few seconds or minutes to the main group.
After the climbs, the route takes the riders south along Zealand's west coast. For 50 kilometres, there are strong chances of side winds, which can break the peloton (the main group) up into many groups even before they reach the highlight of the day - the Great Belt Fixed Link between Zealand and Funen.
After 178 kilometres, the riders turn right onto the world's third largest suspension bridge and climb to 65 metres above sea level before descending towards the small island of Sprogø and a 6.6-kilometre-long battle against the wind on the flat but completely exposed West Bridge. The entire stage will be a backbreaking and dramatic fight, where breakaways, sprinter groups, general classification favourites and their teams all must battle to the finish line.
"Along the copenhagen route, the riders will pass iconic landmarks such as the little mermaid and amalienborg the official residence of the danish royal family."
Tour De France - third stage
The 182 kilometre stage starts in Vejle (middle of Jutland) and ends in Sønderborg (southern Jutland). Like the second stage, three categorised climbs are on the route, each offering 1 point to the mountain classification. The first lies after 27 kilometres on Koldingvej (1.4km, 4.4%). After 83 kilometres, the riders reach the second climb, Hejlsminde Strand (850m, 4.7%). Shortly after, they reach the intermediate sprint at the second UNESCO World Heritage protected landmark, Christiansfeld. Finally, the breakaway will most likely be allowed to continue at least through Haderslev to the third climb of the day, Genner Strand (1.6km, 3.3%).
The third stage will show Danish cycling, culture and history at its finest. The hills of Vejle are the most famous cycling terrain in Denmark and The Jelling Mounds are Denmark's birth certificate. In addition, Christiansfeld and Dybbøl Mølle on the route are some of Denmark's most important historical landmarks.