Dane Michael Rasmussen had been leading the Tour de France for the past 10 days and was basically set to win the whole event.
But suspicions that he has been cheating had been growing and it seems that for one reason or another, his team felt those suspicions left them with little choice but to sack him.
It’s difficult to convey to readers back home how deeply ingrained cycling in all its forms is in the national psyche here.
Also, Denmark’s comparatively small size leads to a situation where individuals who make an impact on the world stage – either sporting or cultural – achieve almost God-like status here.
Danish cultural mores mean that those individuals, such as Rasmussen, are not viewed as superior or intrinsically more worthy than anyone else, but are instead celebrated for demonstrating Danish excellence abroad.
Rasmussen would not have been a popular winner of le Tour, but the Chicken, as he is known here, would nevertheless have struck a blow on the global stage for his compatriots.
Denmark is one big family. This will hit them hard.