About the Arctic Race of Norway
The Arctic Race of Norway is a professional stage race on road bike. The event takes place each year in Northern Norway. The idea of the Arctic Race of Norway – an international race in the three northernmost counties of Norway – was conceived in Andørja, Troms, which hosts the local sporting event Tour de Andørja. The first edition of the Arctic Race of Norway took place in August 2013. In 2018, the race has visited the northernmost region of Norway, as riders cycled from east to west in Finnmark.
The race is an official UCI-sponsored event that is included in the Europe Tour. It was initially rated as a 2.1 event. Since 2015 the race has been ranked as a 2.HC event.
Opportunities across borders
Generally, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat supports and promotes Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the North, by creating mutual trust on both sides of the border.
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat is a center of competence on regional cooperation in the Barents Region and its main goal is to make it as easy as possible to initiate Norwegian-Russian cooperation projects.
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat helps to finance projects, share knowledge and create networks between people in the Barents Region. The projects create trust, friendships and a better quality of life in the Barents Region. In this respect the Barents Secretariat is also a peace project, aiming to remove cultural barriers and build bridges across borders in the north.
The foundation of the Barents Cooperation has always been the people-to-people contacts. A cooperation between people from all areas of society within for instance schools, municipalities, organizations, cultural institutions, businesses. Virtually everyone who is part of the communities in Northern Norway and Northwest Russia, and who would like to engage on a cooperation with their neighboring country.
The Norwegian Barents Secretariat invests in culture and sports, and cooperation between athletes has been the core of people to people cooperation. Since the 1950s, young athletes from the County of Finnmark and from Murmansk have competed against each other. Even during the Cold War both countries wanted to continue the cooperation as they were able to develop their skills and achieve new inputs from other professionals.
The sports cooperation between Norway and Russia has always been popular and apolitical. On the football field, in the swimming pool or among wrestlers, the barriers of language, culture and politics are immaterial. All athletes, belonging to different countries, are equal competitors. Today more than 10 000 athletes take part in th Barents Games and 17 different sports are represented.
Working towards a border-crossing edition of the Arctic Race of Norway
In recent years, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat has collaborated with the organizers of the Arctic Race of Norway (ARN) with the project of realizing a border-crossing edition of this unique international stage race on road bike. The idea is to have an edition of the ARN with one or more stages taking place in Russia. This collaboration has been conducted in close dialogue with Norwegian and Russian authorities and this people-to-people initiative has been well received on both sides of the Norwegian-Russian border. The collaboration continues, with the intent and desire to organize a border-crossing edition of the ARN in the near future.
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