Today, the Danish Minister for Business and Growth, Troels Lund Poulsen and the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, met with the ASO at the Maison du Danemark in Paris to present the official Danish bid to host a Tour de France Grand Départ to Director of the Tour, Christian Prudhomme.
The focus of the Danish presentation was on how the unique Danish cycling culture makes Denmark, and especially Copenhagen, the Danish capital, a natural choice as a starting point for the Tour de France in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
Copenhagen is a city built for cycling with more than 390 kilometres of bike lanes, bridges and highways especially made for bicycles. Almost half the population of Copenhagen use their bicycles on a daily basis to commute to work or school. This makes Copenhagen a greener, healthier and happier place to live and visit. Danes in general are very fond of cycling, both as a means of personal transportation and as a professional sport. The majority of Danes are passionate fans of the Tour de France.
Minister for Business and Growth, Troels Lund Poulsen:
“I believe Denmark has a lot to offer the Tour de France. Denmark is a cycling nation, and a Grand Départ in Denmark would add a new dimension to the greatest cycling race in the world by showcasing how bicycles are a natural part of our everyday lives in Denmark. We also have great experience with hosting major international sports events, and for a Danish Grand Départ we have planned some amazing Tour stages through beautiful scenery, passing many historical towns and landmarks. I hope we managed to convey this to Mr. Prudhomme today.”
Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen:
”I was very excited to be in Paris today and to be able to present the Danish bid to the people of the ASO. Copenhagen is world famous as a cycling city and this is an image that fits perfectly with the great race of the Tour de France. The Tour is one of the biggest sports events in the world and it is loved by the Danes. It would be a unique opportunity to show off our beautiful city and country and to inspire the rest of the world to embrace the power of pedals.”
CEO, Sport Event Denmark, Lars Lundov:
“Denmark has a great tradition for staging major, international sporting events and especially within cycling we have had the pleasure to host both the UCI Road World Championships 2011 and the Start of Giro d’Italia 2012. Hosting a Tour de France Grand Départ would be a magnificent opportunity to once again demonstrate Denmark’s position as cycling nation and destination.”
At the ceremony today, both the Danish Minister for Business and Growth and the Lord Mayor spoke passionately about Denmark as a future venue for a Grand Départ before handing over the official bid to Christian Prudhomme.
”The greatest cycling race in the world meets the best cycling city in the world” is the slogan of the bid, which includes three Tour de France stages in Denmark: The opening stage with an individual time trial through the centre of the historic city of Copenhagen, a second stage from Roskilde to Odense via the Great Belt Bridge and finally a third stage from Vejle to Sønderborg.
The Danish delegation meeting with the ASO today also included representatives from some of the municipalities and regions involved in the Danish bid along with representatives from the involved organisations, Sport Event Denmark and Wonderful Copenhagen. VisitDenmark contributed with the organisation of the ceremony today.