Tour du France tribute to Chris Anker Sørensen painted by robot

an aerial view of images of Chris Anker Sørensen painted on soccer pitch
The day before the start of the Tour de France in Denmark, a unique portrait of folk hero Chris Anker Sørensen will be displayed on a 40 x 30-metre area of a football pitch in Holbæk Sportsby. | Credit: Turf Tank

The Tour du France starts on July 1, 2022 with the kickoff leg this year in Denmark. To honor the occasion, autonomous mobile robot manufacturer Turf Tank generated a special tribute image of Danish cycling hero Chris Anker Sørensen, and will autonomously paint the image of Chris onto the football pitch in Holbæk Sportsby. The tour will pass within 0.5 km of the pitch, and the event broadcast helicopters will catch images of the pitch, and Chris’s tribute from the sky.

Chris Anker Sørensen was a Danish road bicycle racer who rode professionally between 2005 and 2018 for the Team Designa Køkken, Tinkoff–Saxo, Fortuneo–Vital Concept, and Riwal Platform teams. Sørensen then worked as a directeur sportif (and co-owner) for his final professional team, Riwal Readynez. (Source: Wikipedia)

Chris Anker Sørensen
Chris Anker Sørensen warms up before a bike race. | Credit: Daniel VILLAFRUELA

Chris was unfortunately killed on September 18, 2021 when he was hit by van while riding his bike. In the 2012 Tour de France, Sørensen finished 14th overall and was awarded the super-combativity award after an attacking performance in several mountain stages.

Fans can witness the Turf Tank autonomous mobile robot painting the tribute image of Chris onto the Holbæk Sportsby pitch on 30 June 2022 starting at 10:00 AM (local time).

The Turf Tank One mobile robot has been deployed to autonomous paint and maintain both professional and recreational sports fields around the world. The mobile robot is simple to setup and maintain, and now includes the capability to print any graphic or image onto the field as demonstrated in the video below.


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Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at