a big party from the presentation of the teams to the Danish public, who celebrated their riders

a big party from the presentation of the teams to the Danish public, who celebrated their riders

While the Grande Boucle will not start until Friday July 1, the big celebration of the Tour de France began on Wednesday in Copenhagen (Denmark), city of the big start, with the presentation of the riders. In Tivoli Gardens, in the heart of the Danish capital, an impressive crowd gathered to give the runners a standing ovation, with particularly loud applause for the Danes who will take part in the race.

In the most cycling city in the world, the many amateurs gave way to professional runners on the main arteries of the capital, Wednesday at the end of the day. From the beginning of the afternoon, the public had begun to settle in the front row, behind the barriers along the course of the runners’ parade, but in proportions quite incomparable to the impressive crowd which then swept over the Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park located in the heart of Copenhagen.

Among the spectators, many had first passed through the many itinerant shops to find a distinctive jersey or products derived from the Grande Boucle, such as Lasse, who took the day off to be present: “I’ve been following the Tour de France for years, and I never thought that the biggest sporting event in the world would start in Denmark. It might only happen once, so you had to be there” .

Like him, other Danish spectators have made arrangements not to miss the event. Lone and her husband arrived at 1 p.m. to make sure they were in a good position facing the stage: “It’s amazing, I wanted to feel this atmosphere. We are a small country, and thanks to the Tour, some will put Denmark on the world map”. After several hours of waiting, these Danish supporters were rewarded when the different teams appeared on stage, one after the other, in an atmosphere comparable to that of the fanzones during the Football World Cup. And the public celebrated the appearance of the Danish runners as goals.

From Mads Pedersen, the 2019 road world champion and the first Dane to appear on the stage, to Mikkel Bjerg, the latest to receive a standing ovation with his UAE Team Emirates, all received a rockstar welcome, with two winners on the applause meter : Jakob Fuglsang and Jonas Vingegaard. “It makes me very proud to be here, to see so many of you and to be able to show my team-mates how fantastic Denmark are.”launched the first, who is about to participate in his eleventh Tour de France.

Second in the general classification last year, Vingegaard appeared to him very moved, his eyes almost wet: “Being on the podium was very emotional for me, with so many people chanting my name. I felt like they didn’t want to stop, it was very impressive. The passion for the Tour de France has grown up here in recent years, and I hope there will also be people on the roads during all stages in Denmark”.

Received just as warmly as the Danes, many runners appeared with their phones in hand, to immortalize the moment, while trying to put the public in their pocket, like Chris Froome: “This is my tenth participation in the Tour de France and I have never felt such an atmosphere during the Grands Départs”. Leaving the stage, Frenchman Benoît Cosnefroy was impressed by the atmosphere in Copenhagen: “We can see that the public is happy to see us, it’s really wonderful. There’s definitely a real cycling culture in Denmark, and we feel that they’re really happy that the race is starting here. This year”. To congratulate and thank the public for their enthusiastic welcome, the director of the event, Christian Prudhomme, symbolically awarded him “the first yellow jersey of the Tour de France 2022”.

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