Tour de France organisers request Grand Departure re-scheduling with Copenhagen
Tour de France organisers have made a request to the city of Copenhagen that the Grand Departure, scheduled to begin in the Danish capital on 2 July 2021, be rescheduled in order to avoid the race clashing with the Olympic men's elite race.
99th Tour de France 2012 / Stage 11 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Yellow Jersey / Christopher Froome (GBr)/ Albertville - La Toussuire Les Sybelles (148Km)/ Ronde van Frankrijk TDF / Rit Stage /(c)Tim De Waele
That would mean a clash with the final stage of the Tour, which is due to be completed on 25 July in Paris, leading organisers to seek yet another alteration to the schedule, beginning with shifting the Grand Departure earlier in the month. There are an additional two road stages due to take place in the city that would also have to be moved.
"I can confirm that we have received a request from the Tour de France management that they would like to discuss the contracted dates they have with us for when the Tour should start in Denmark in 2021," Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen and chairman of the board of the local organising group told Danish TV.
There is a concern in Denmark that any change to the scheduling of the departure would cause a fresh conflict, this time with the dates for Copenhagen's hosting duties at the Euro 2020 football championships.
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The city is due to host a quarter-final match at the re-arranged tournament which is being played across 12 cities around Europe. However, city authorities are concerned that holding both events in such close proximity could stretch municipal resources thin and add unnecessary strain.
"When you have a contract with one other, and one says they have some challenges with the contract, then of course you have to talk together. This is where we start, also because we have also approached the Tour de France management in the past because we had some challenges with football. Now they are the ones who approach us," said Jensen.
Now that we have mastered the football and settled on the dates, it obviously presents big problems if the dates have to be moved around.
Jesper Møller, chairman of the Danish Football Union, said he is willing to discuss a reschedule but emphasised that the dates are set by UEFA.
"If the Mayor of Copenhagen asks us if we want to take a look at it, then of course we are looking at it," Møller said.
"[However], it is UEFA's tournament, it is UEFA's matches, and from UEFA's point of view, the match programme is firm."