‘The Vikings also wore helmets’: Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad

The Danish Road Safety Council has put the Scandinavian country's Viking past to a hilarious new use: convincing macho Danish men to wear cycle helmets.

'The Vikings also wore helmets': Danes draw on marauding past for cycle safety ad
Svend the Viking does not want to ruin his braids. Photo: &Co

The council’s new advert, “Helmet has always been a good idea”, brings together two somewhat incongruous aspects of Danish life — the country’s love of cycling and its Viking past, using humour to show up some of the silly reasons people give themselves not to wear cycle helmets. 

The advert starts with the imposing Viking chief Svend rousing his men for their next invasion of England. To rhythmic chanting and the blowing of horns, he mounts his steed, brandishing his thick and heavy sword. 

Then, suddenly, his young son comes running bearing his helmet. Svend ignores him, and utters a cry: “To the ships!”. 

After a pause, one of his men nervously asks: “shouldn’t you have a helmet on, Svend?”. 

“No, it’s annoying and it makes my scalp itch,” Svend responds sheepishly. 

“I’m a careful rider,” he adds, slightly desperately.

“What do I do when I get there? Run around in a silly helmet?” he adds. 

Then he roars, “It ruins my braids!” 

It’s only when his wife comes out that he finally dons his gleaming headpiece and with the cheers of his fellow marauders all around him makes his way to the longships. 

Then the slogan — “A helmet has been a good idea for all time” — appears on the screen in rune-like writing. 

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Swiss rider dies after fall into ravine on Tour of Switzerland

Swiss rider Gino Maeder has died from the injuries he sustained when he plunged into a ravine during a stage of the Tour of Switzerland, his team Bahrain-Victorious said on Friday.

Swiss rider dies after fall into ravine on Tour of Switzerland

Maeder, 26, fell during a high-speed descent on the fifth stage between Fiesch and La Punt on Thursday, after an exhausting day marked by three ascents over 2,000 metres altitude.

He had been found “lifeless in the water” of a ravine below the road, “immediately resuscitated then transported to the hospital in Chur by air”, organisers said.

But the next day, “Gino lost his battle to recover from the serious injuries he sustained,” Bahrain-Victorious said in a statement.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we must announce the passing of Gino Mäder,” his team wrote in a statement.

“On Friday June 16th, following a very serious fall during the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost his fight to recover from the serious injuries he had suffered. Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino’s family and loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”

“Despite the best efforts of the phenomenal staff at Chur hospital, Gino couldn’t make it through this, his final and biggest challenge, and at 11:30am we said goodbye to one of the shining lights of our team,” the team said in a statement.

Maeder had enjoyed a strong start to the season, finishing fifth in the Paris-Nice race.

American rider Magnus Sheffield also fell on the same descent from Albula, during the most difficult stage of the race with multiple climbs. The Ineos-Grenadiers rider was hospitalised with “bruises and concussion,” organisers said.

On Thursday, world champion Remco Evenepoel criticised the decision to compete on such a dangerous road.

“While a summit finish would have been perfectly possible, it wasn’t a good decision to let us finish down this dangerous descent,” the Belgian wrote on Twitter.

“As riders, we should also think about the risks we take going down a mountain.”