Denmark had to wait one year for its Tour de France grand départ, but organizers and crowds didn’t disappoint.
Three days in the bike-mad Nordic nation brought massed crowds, street bands, and frenetic Tour fans.
After initially being slated for last summer, the Denmark grand départ got pushed back for 12 months to prevent clashes with the rearranged Euro 2020 football tournament.
Local crowds brought 12 months of anticipation and came out in their droves to cheer on the 10 Danes – and the rest of the 176-strong peloton – for three days of street parties and celebration.
“These three stages have been absolutely amazing – I can’t even describe it. This was something special. The crowds were just incredible. Parties on the road, even in the middle of nowhere. Just full of people everywhere,” home sprinter Mads Pedersen said.
Magnus Cort brought home fans something to savor with his 130km solo breakaway Sunday.
“I couldn’t get bored out there with all the people cheering me on,” Cort said. “I’d never been on a solo break like that. It was a huge day out. There was a lot of wind, but a crowd like that gives you energy.
“It’s been unbelievable, these last three days in Denmark. I never imagined it would be this big. It seems like a lot of the Danish spectators are very happy to have been visited by the Tour.”
The Danish grand départ was worth waiting for. Here’s how it looked:
Denmark brought the party to the opening of the 2022 Tour.
A bit of rain didn’t stop bike-mad Danish fans Friday.
The first road stage into Nyborg gave Cort a true amphitheater stage for his KoM hunt on stage 2.
“Rigøbertø” Urán brought his inner Viking to the grand départ.
Huge crowds turned out to watch the Tour de France in Denmark.
Wout van Aert and Fabio Jakobsen brace for a day of deafening roadside Danes ahead of stage 3.
Riders likened the crowds to the Yorkshire start of the 2014 Tour and last year’s Flandrian worlds.
Cort put polka dots on the Danish flag with his all-day breakaway Sunday.
The Tour leaves Denmark for a transfer to Dunkerque, France on Monday.
The Danish crowds will miss the Tour as much as the Tour will miss the Danish crowds.