Stage 1 preview

Time trial in Herning

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Bluffers guide: Herning is home town to Bjarne Riis, but it’s more famous locally for having one of the highest concentrations of millionaires in Denmark. Amongst them is Cristina Hembo, jeweller, cycling nut and owner of Michael Rasmussen’s Cristina Watches team. They didn’t make it, but Riis’ remodelled Saxo Bank, effectively the Danish national team, will need to put on a show for the sponsors.

Buon appetito: Fish in general, but no self-respecting Dane would be without his herring. Pickled, rollmop or on Smørrebrød (an open rye bread sandwich), they can’t get enough of the stuff. No accounting for taste…

Local hero: Bjarne Riis (Saxo Bank) – Herning’s most famous sporting son is a controversial figure. His 1996 Tour de France was acheived, by his own admission, with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs. Now the manager of Saxo Bank, he’s faced with the daunting prospect of replacing or at least forgetting Alberto Contador, himself now banned for doping offences.

Pier Bergonzi says: “No stage race has ever featured a stage so far north. Denmark has a great cycling story, and obviously Copenhagen hosted the World Championships last year. There will be huge crowds, but no mountains. It’s difficult to locate a mountain in Denmark.

Stage 1 map: stage 1 map

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