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Copenhagen Tour de France

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Copenhagen, the World's Most "Bike-Friendly" City, Ready for the Tour de France Grand Départ

n 2022, the Tour de France will venture further north than ever before, with the Danish capital, Copenhagen, hosting the Grand Départ of the cycling spectacle for the first time.

As the home to 673,000 bicycles and a thriving cycling scene, Copenhagen has patiently awaited its turn to present one of the sport's most famous events. The city was awarded the hosting rights in February 2019, and the Grand Départ was originally scheduled for 2021. However, due to the pandemic's disruption of the international sports calendar, an agreement was reached with Tour organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) last year to move the event to July 1-3, 2022.

Fine-Tuning Preparations

The delay has given Copenhagen more time to fine-tune preparations for its moment in the cycling spotlight. "We are pleased the event was postponed, as this summer was filled with events in Copenhagen, including the also postponed UEFA Euro 2020 matches, WorldPride, and the International Canoe Federation's Sprint World Championships," says Lars Vallentin Christensen, senior manager at Wonderful Copenhagen, the official tourism organization of Denmark's capital.

"The extra time allows us to engage even more partners, and while the wait can be a test, it will enable further activities, and the city will be even more ready than it would have been. It will, of course, be great to have fewer restrictions, but Copenhagen was able to host major events this summer due to our success in dealing with Covid-19 and our record-high vaccine participation."

Bike-Friendly City

ASO has brought the Grand Départ to various overseas destinations in recent years, including the Belgian capital Brussels, Düsseldorf in Germany, and the English city of Leeds. The Basque city of Bilbao will host in 2023. Copenhagen, however, is an ideal location for the Grand Départ. Since 2015, it has been the world's most bike-friendly city, with the Queen Louise's Bridge alone being crossed daily by 40,000 cyclists.

"For us, the Grand Départ is a great opportunity to celebrate our cycling culture and emphasize why investing in the greenest, cleanest, healthiest, and most convenient way to explore Copenhagen is essential. We also want to use this platform to showcase our solution to the rest of the world and hopefully inspire other cities to prioritize cycling and help create a more sustainable planet.

Sustainable and eco-friendly modes of transportation are becoming increasingly important, not only for national governments but also for sports organizations. With this in mind, the Copenhagen Grand Départ comes at an opportune time, with the organizers hoping to use the event to spotlight the city's daily cycling culture.

Sources: SportBusiness, Pexels

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