Denmark has been chosen to host the start of the prestigious Tour De France in 2021 for the first time in the 116-year-old history of the race.
Three stages will be set for the iconic race: Copenhagen time trial, Roskilde-Nyborg, and Vejle-Sønderborg. In February, the former Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen presented some advantages and benefits of organising the three stages.
Researchers believe benefits are exaggerated
However, researchers believe the benefits and positive effects are grossly exaggerated.
Daam Van Reeth, a professor at the University of Belgium Leuven who is an expert on the economy of cycling, rejects the government’s findings – most notably predictions made by the former business minister, Rasmus Jarlov, regarding how big the worldwide audience would be.
“Politicians must sell the event to the people to justify the investment of public money,” he told Politiken.
“Therefore, they refer to excessive numbers, claiming that several billion viewers will follow the race.”
Reeth’s research predicts that between 40 and 50 million unique viewers will closely watch the Tour De France over the three weeks of its duration. For an individual stage, it is between 10 and 20 million.
Meanwhile, several researchers contend that the overall expenditure will be more than the 90 million kroner claimed by the former government.
Alex Pederson, the head of Grand Départ Copenhagen Denmark 2021, has already owned up to a mistake being made.
“I’d like to lay this down flat. There are not billions of people coming to see the three Danish stages. It is simply a mistake that I can only regret,” he told Politiken.
He also admitted that public spending will be greater than the stated budget. But he denied that the Danish government has deliberately exaggerated the effects.