A country of approximately 5.8 million people, Denmark is known as one of the greenest and happiest countries in the world. Cycling plays a vital role in that status. In Denmark, cycling is a part of everyday life, it’s part of our DNA.
More than a hobby and a means of transport, cycling is a way of life in Denmark. We ride to school and work. We ride to the beach and we ride in our spare time. In Denmark, school children young and old ride every day. Sometimes you’ll even find princes and prime ministers on a bike.
Nine out of 10 Danes own a bicycle and there are approximately 12,000km of bike routes and bike lanes across the country. They define our urban spaces and the way that we move about in cities like Copenhagen, the country’s capital. Every week day, cyclists in Copenhagen cover the equivalent distance of 400 editions of the Tour de France – that’s about 1,440,000km. Thanks to the 673,000 bikes in the city and the fact that 44% of all trips to places of work and education are done by bicycle, it’s no wonder that Copenhagen has been named the world’s best cycling city.
Other countries often look to Denmark for inspiration when it comes to promoting cycling as a fundamental part of a sustainable, healthy and happy way of life. Indeed, in several foreign cities, the bike paths separated by kerbs are known as “Copenhagen lanes”. As a consequence of all this, the Tour de France and Denmark are a great match. Not only is Denmark a country of cyclists, but we also have extensive experience in hosting major international sporting and cycling events, including the 2011 World Road Race Cham¬pionships and the start of the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
When one of the world’s greatest cycling countries welcomes the world’s greatest bike race in the summer of 2022, we will draw on these experiences to present the race’s most unique start ever. We’ll throw a huge party and invite the whole world to come and experience a country where cycling is quite simply a part of life.
"Some encounters seem so obvious. The greatest cycling race in the world naturally has the vocation to go to the country, Denmark, and the city, Copenhagen, that offer to every day life bicycling its largest place. Nine Danes out of ten own a bicycle that they use on a daily basis and it is for instance on bikes that close to a child out of two goes to school.
The riders of the Tour, most popular users on the cycling planet, will therefore find in July 2022 huge amounts of supporters throughout the country that share the same passion. The oldest in the peloton witnessed, ten years ago, the joy of meeting them during the road World Championships that had revealed to many the magnitude of that popularity. That link with the elite of world cycling had however already started strongly on the occasion of the very first World Championships, amateur at the time, back in… 1921!
History now awaits a new golden generation including the likes of Michael Valgren, Søren Kragh Andersen, Mads Pedersen or Magnus Cort Nielsen riding in the wheel of Jakob Fuglsang and they could shine as soon as the early days of this 109th edition. If such is the case, this Grand Départ, the northernmost one in the history of the Tour de France could also become the craziest one."
Queen: Margrethe II
Royal motto: God’s help, the people’s love, Denmark’s strength
Surface: 43 098 km² (2 220 000 km² including Groenland og and the Faroe Islands)
Population: 5 900 000 inhabitants
Capitale: Copenhagen (613 000 inhabitants and over 2-million with outskirts)
Currency: Danish krone
Danish sports legends: Allan Simonsen (football, Ballon d’or France Football in 1977), Michael Laudrup (football), Mikkel Hansen (handball), Thomas Bjørn (golf), Caroline Wozniacki (tennis), Peter Gade (badminton), Kamilla Rytter Juhl (badminton)
A NORTHERLY WIND …
More than a century has passed since the first Danish rider appeared in the Tour de France. But Copenhagen’s Grand Départ marks the emergence of a successful generation of riders that has already begun to shine, featuring, among others, Magnus Cort Nielsen, Soren Kragh Andersen and Jonas Vingegaard.
The first world cycling championships, which was open to amateurs only at that time, were awarded to Copenhagen one hundred years ago, in 1921. Planning for that project had started the year before at the headquarters of the International Cycling Union, which was then based in Paris, just a stone’s throw from the editorial office of L’Auto, where the Tour de France was “invented”, in what was clearly a fertile area for the development of brilliant ideas. Even before that, Christian Christensen had led the way by leaving Denmark to settle in Cherbourg, subsequently becoming the first Danish rider to participate in the Tour de France in 1913. However, it wasn’t until 1958 that one of his compatriots completed the race, Hans Andresen finishing the Tour in 62nd position overall.
Denmark’s relationship with the Tour really took off a decade or so later. The country’s first success arrived in 1970 when Mogens Frey won in Mulhouse on his only appearance in the race. The story then took a dark turn as a result of Bjarne Riis’s controversial victory and Michael Rasmussen’s equally inglorious performances. But the new generation is doing the red and white-crossed flag proud, with ambassadors like Magnus Cort Nielsen, a stage winner in 2018, and Soren Kragh Andersen, who won twice in 2020. As a result, Denmark’s riders can look to the future with real ambition. Among a record 11 riders at the 2021 Tour, Denmark revealed its most promising talent in young Jonas Vingegaard, who stepped up from his role as a support rider to finish second on the podium on the Champs-Élysées. He just has one more step left to climb…
The 11 Danish riders in the 2021 Tour de France (record):
- Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
- Mikkel Bjerg (UAE-Emirates)
- Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF-Nippo) J
- akob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech)
- Christopher Juul Jensen (BikeExchange)
- Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM)
- Michael Morkov (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
- Casper Pedersen (DSM)
- Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
- Michael Valgren (EF-Nippo)
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
- Tuesday 28th June - Opening of the reception desk and press centre at the Bella Center
- Wednesday 29th June - Presentation of the 2022 Tour de France teams at the Tivoli Gardens
- Friday 1st July - Stage 1 Copenhagen > Copenhagen Individual time trial
- Saturday 2nd July - Stage 2 Roskilde > Nyborg
- Sunday 3rd July - Stage 3 Vejle > Sønderborg
Lars Weiss, Chairman of Grand Départ Copenhagen Denmark 2022
"Our capital city Copenhagen is known as the world’s best city for cyclists." "Denmark is a perfect match for the Tour de France. The Danish Grand Départ will be a lever to showcase some of the most beautiful and iconic areas of our country, and to highlight our unique cycling culture where cycling is a way of life."
Simon Kollerup, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs
“The three Danish stages will fill our streets with tourists enjoying the summer, and TV viewers from all over the world will follow the peloton through our country. This will be a great opportunity to showcase the special Danish cycling DNA and promote our charming rural areas, Danish tourism, and Danish businesses."
Christian Prudhomme, Director of Tour de France: "The Tour de France is the biggest cycling race on Earth, but we still have much to learn! The Danes set an outstanding example by making bicycles their leading means of transport in urban areas. In Copenhagen, we will meet fans who acclaim the champions of world cycling. The energy that supporters and curious locals will channel to riders, followers and viewers of the Tour will most assuredly be a great source of inspiration to succeed in our greatest challenge: seeing the future on a bike."