Celebrated during the Tour de France!

July 5 th 2022 - 11:00 [GMT + 2]

All of them have been through the worst and experienced a permanent sense of defeat. They now use sport to shape a better life, and this weekend they were cheered by a human tide in Denmark, on the occasion of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

© Idretten Skaper Sjanser

An unforgettable experience

Idretten Skaper Sjanser ("Sport creates chances" in Norwegian), an activity program for people with substance abuse problems, experienced the tribute of the Danish public as they rode the three stages of the Grand Départ of the Tour of France in Denmark last weekend, just before the pros.

The Tour de France is the world’s third largest sporting event, and thousands of enthusiastic spectators stood up and applauded the athletes of Idretten Skaper Sjanser during their presentation before the start.

"We are eternally grateful to the Arctic Race of Norway. Without this collaboration, we would never have had the opportunity to realize this project. The public and the organization of the Tour de France created an unforgettable experience for our athletes. The first stage was a continuous cheer on the 13.2 kilometer course, and many had the experience of a lifetime. We are now looking forward to the start line of the Arctic Race of Norway in Mo i Rana on 11th August," said Morten Nyborg, Director of Idretten Skaper Sjanser.

Community and self-control

Ranging in age from 25 to 59, Idretten Skaper Sjanser's 27 athletes come from three of the association's cycling groups. Many of them spent several years behind bars.

"Through Idretten Skaper Sjanser, we want to give these people with drug addiction problems an experience of community and self-control. Cycling literally motivates them to stay on track, with their hands on the handlebars and their eyes forward," Nyborg adds.

Idretten Skaper Sjanser is one of the social partners of the Arctic Race of Norway, and it was this collaboration that opened the doors to the Tour de France.

Knut-Eirik Dybdal, director of the Arctic Race of Norway, is happy to help support people with drug-related difficulties, by using cycling sports to create a better life.

"It was wonderful to see them ride all the stages of the Arctic Race of Norway last year, and absolutely amazing to see how they were carried by thousands of Danes during the Tour de France. Now we are really looking forward to welcoming them back to the Arctic Race of Norway later this year, and we hope that the Norwegian public will be pay tribute to these athletes as the Danes have done," said Dybdal.

About Idretten Skaper Sjanser

Idretten Skaper Sjanser is an activity program for people with substance abuse problems, focusing on cycling, skiing, and horse riding.

The Arctic Race of Norway is the main goal of the year for cycling athletes, giving them motivation towards a drug-free life, or a daily life with less addictions. This year, as in 2021, a group will ride all the stages of the Arctic Race of Norway a few hours before the professionals.

© Idretten Skaper Sjanser

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