Tour start Copenhagen - Q&A

Maybe a little late, but if anybody is planning to go to Copenhagen (or Denmark in general) for the start of the Tour I would be happy to answer any practical questions regarding my home country and city. Like where to stay, ride, eat, what to see (other than the racing) and stuff like that.

I plan to see the first two stages myself (the TT in central Copenhagen, which should be quite a party and the first stage which goes from Roskilde to Nyborg - crossing the Great Belt bridge in the process), so hopefully I should also be able to get some insight on how and where to best watch those.

You should also be able to find a lot of official information on this dedicated site set up by the organizers: Tour de France Grand Départ Copenhagen Denmark 2021

Fire away and I will do my best to try and keep up:)

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That’s a very generous offer you made. I feel bad that no one has taken you up on your offer.

Unfortunately I am not planning on going.

However I would be interested in knowing which of the opening stages has been purpose built for Mads Pedersen?

A hometown win would be great for the Tour and for Denmark

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Im going to see the second stage. Our friends are from Aarhus so driving south to watch somewhere on the road. Very excited. Love Denmark, going North past Aalborg then flying to copenhagen for last 3 nights of our stay.

No worries. If nobody is going I will just have fewer posts to answer:)

As for Mads Pedersen it´s definately stage 2. It´s basically a tour de force of his training ground. The route passes within a few hundred meters of his home and is full of small roads and very exposed to the wind. It also has quite a few nasty kickers, that are a real test for us mortals - however I don´t expect them to be of any significance for the pros.

If the wind is from the west (which is by far the most prevalent in Denmark) it is going to be a very exposed stage. If the wind is from the north or the south, the stage is not that exposed, until the Great Belt Bridge, which is going to be pure mayhem (it goes almost straight west) as the winds are extremely strong up there (even in a car).

But don´t count out the danes on the first stage. Guys like Mads P, Søren Kragh and Kasper Asgreen could definately be up there in the TT. Copenhagen is going to be one big stadium atmosphere cheering the Danish riders on, so anything can happen there.

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If you´re starting out from Aarhus, you have to go quite a bit further to see stage 2 so I assume you are talking about stage 3?

Stage 3 starts in Vejle, which has the most interesting cycling terraing in Denmark, full of narrow, steep roads (it´s the Danish equivalent of Flanders). Plans are actually in the works to have a world tour race there within the next couple of years.

Unfortunately the route goes almost straight south into more boring terrain and will probably end in a sprint in Sønderborg. But it´s a pretty easy drive from Aarhus.

Thank you Holmertz, it is very kind of you to offer advice. We are staying near the Carlsberg train station. Would you suggest just walking to the start finish areas or taking the train/metro. I’m thinking the public transit may be so busy that it will be best to avoid it.

And since you offered general advice, we have had the pleasure to visit your wonderful country many times and have spent a cumulative few months in and around Copenhagen. Do you have a favorite neighborhood, park or even a bar that you enjoy and is not someplace that someone typically finds as a visitor?

Thanks,
Rod from San Francisco

Sorry for the late reply - had a busy weekend, with not enough cycling:)

For getting around Copenhagen I would suggest using the Metro (or S-Train) or - not surprisingly - a bike. The Metro is only really busy during rush hour and since the Danish summer holiday period starts a week before the tour, there should be plenty of space. And it’s an extremely effective way of getting around in Copenhagen.

As for places to hangout in Copenhagen I must admit I live a few kilometers (13 to be exactly) north of central Copenhagen, so I do not hang out in the city that often. But when I do my favourite places are probably Kødbyen (the old meatpacking district) or simply just the canals around Christianshavn in central Copenhagen where I used to live. Lots of great places to eat there or you could just hang out along the canals with a pizza and a beer.

But there are a lot of great places. Just avoid the usual tourist traps like Nyhavn, which have very little to do with the “real” Copenhagen.

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Yes sorry you are right! Getting confused with it being Sunday but Stage 3!

Just use a bike Rod, this is the best way to experience Copenhagen and its surrounding. If you are not willing to ship yours, rent one. There are many places in copenhagen renting bikes and many places allows you to reserve a bike from abroad. Make sure you book it early enough. Additionally many airbnb hosts allows you to use a bike they have in the basement. Expect a rusty heavy city bike in that case.

There are also a quite few bike sharing companies if my memory is correct.

Yes, a bike is definitely the easiest way to get around in Copenhagen. Just don’t use anything resembling an expensive bike as the risk of getting it stolen is unfortunately pretty high. Hence why a lot people have an old (rusty) town bike they can use if they know they have to park it somewhere public.

Thank you,

Bikes are our plan A. Unfortunately I can’t bring my own bike for doing recreational rides, but I’ve used Donkey Republic for transportation rides previously and will use them again. They are quite convenient.

Riding in a bike friendly city such as Copenhagen is initially such a disorienting experience. It doesn’t take long to get used to, but the initial feeling of being in a large pack on a city bike and not having the rules be second nature- for things such as making left turns- is so odd. After forty plus years of riding and racing in the U.S. I always feel like quite the beginner when abroad.

With the start being almost upon us, I found this teriffic Twitter-thread explaining the various parts of Copenhagen that stage 1 will go through as well as some of the old buildings that the riders pass: https://twitter.com/NowakFranklin_/status/1540191381045612544

Hi holmertz,

I’m in Berlin, and on a bike tour that is ending in Copenhagen. I should be arriving in Rostock in a few days, depending on weather. Hopefully find a ferry to Copenhagen.

I’d love any advice on places to stay, and things to see. Also looking for a shop to box my bike before I fly on July 8.

I’m stoked to see a stage or two!

Tim

Hi Tim

There’s a ferry from Rostock to Gedser on the island of Falster, but you still have about 150km to Copenhagen from there. So you won’t be able to take a ferry straight to Copenhagen.

As to where to stay, I suspect that the hotels in central Copenhagen are fully booked at the moment, but staying well outside the city isn’t a big issue, as it’s very easy to get into the city either by bike or public transportation. So I would look at hotels west or north of Copenhagen and close to S-train stations (you can bring your bike on the trains for free - just don’t leave it at the station…).

With the weather at the moment life is very much lived outside, so I would suggest exploring the areas along the harbour. Especially the eastern side of the harbour is very cozy starting from Christianshavn, which is located between central Copenhagen and the island of Amager, and going north from there past the Opera and out to Holmen and Refshaleøen.

If you are into museums and art I would suggest riding your bikes to Louisiana in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen (https://louisiana.dk/). It’s worth a visit and you could also take the trip just to enjoy the ride along the coast, to visit (and eat at) one of the harbours along the way (and maybe continue all the way to Helsingør and Kronborg, where Shakespeares Hamlet takes place). Or stop at Cranks and Coffee in Klampenborg, where you will typically find a lot of trendy Danish cyclists in Pas Normal kit:)

But let me know, where you end up staying and what you would like to see and I will be happy to make a few recomendations. As for bike shops there’s quite a lot around, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find one with a spare bike box you can have.

Hi holmertz,

Thanks much for the information. I noted that it would take a long time for me to ride/ferry/ride to CPH, so I cut bait am (luckily) on a train to Hamburg. I’ll be in Copenhagen late tonight. I have a hotel near the train station.

I will be at the prologue on Friday, and Roskilde on Saturday. Following that, I will ride around Denmark and Sweden until my departure on July 8.

Cranks and Coffee in Klampenborg is on the short list! I hope to see some cool bicycles there. Or at least have some great coffee.

Yes, would love info on art + architecture + museums. Helsingør and Helsingborg will be stops for certain. I’m a great fan of Bjarke Ingels, so Amager Bakke and Ørestad are both on my short list.

Thanks much for your advice!

Tim

If you’re in to architecture be sure to check out the SAS Hotel (SAS Hotel — Copenhagen by design) close to the main train station. It was designed by Arne Jacobsen (one of the most important figures in Danish architecture and furniture design). He also designed the Bella Vista housing complex, the Bellevue Theatre and a spectacular gas station in Skovshoved (Arne Jacobsen's Petrol Station | Architecture | VisitCopenhagen), all of which you can see if you ride along the coast towards Helsingør.

And if you stop by Helsingør be sure to visit the Maritime Museum of Denmark. It was designed by David Zahle (one of the partners of the Bjarke Ingels Group) who also designed Amager Bakke.

Otherwise there’s a lot of recommendations here (with a picture of the maritime museum at the top): Guide to modern architecture in Copenhagen

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Hi holmertz,

You’ve posted some things of interest that are right up my alley. I’ll have more than enough to explore here until my departure.

Thanks much!

Tim