Arctic Race of Norway 2019 – storming the Norwegian Ventoux

November 13 th 2018 - 11:30

The Arctic Race of Norway is a suspense-filled race where the young stars shine each year. In 2018, Dutch rider Mathieu Van Der Poel (Corendon-Circus) won two stages and confirmed all the hopes that have been placed on him on the road. This year again, the fast and powerful riders will get to show their stuff on two weekend stages. Prior to that, the peloton will visit the Lofoten Islands where the sprinters will battle for victory.

For the second time in seven editions, the Arctic Race of Norway will take place on the Lofoten Islands, known around the world for their atypical scenery where the roads run between the mountains and the sea. The town of “Å” will, for the first time, host a stage of the Arctic Race on Thursday, August 15. This small village with such an original name (the final letter in the Norwegian alphabet!) is also called this because it is here where the last inhabitants on the extreme west side of the island live. Over 182 kilometres, the peloton will pass the finish line twice to complete the two loops. Although four classified climbs will be part of the King of the Mountain classification, this won’t inhibit the sprinters from battling for the win at Leknes.

On day two of the race, the riders will, once again, look to both their left and right to admire the stunning Lofoten Islands scenery. Henningsvær is known for having one of the most spectacular football pitches in the world as well as being the start city for stage two, which will finish in Svolvær, and which was featured in the first edition in 2013. The 168.5km-long stage will run along the seafront and will not pose any major difficulties. It will be the ideal finish for sprinters like local hero Alexander Kristoff!

Following the Lofotens, the Arctic Race will change islands to arrive in Vesterålen on Saturday 17 August. This 176.5km-long stage starting in Sortland was designed for the strongest riders with three climbs that will have to be negotiated before the riders take on an all-new ramp at Storheia Summit, in the town of Melbu (3.5kms at 11.8%). A crazy finish similar to the famous “repechos” of the Vuelta a España that will start just a week later and could be of interest to some riders looking for performance on the final big tour of the season. At the highest altitude, the caravan will have the chance to admire the splendid panoramic view at the observation level that reminds one of a certain Mont Ventoux.

The Arctic Race of Norway will return to the mainland for the final stage that has the look of a rollercoaster between L⌀dingen and Narvik. While the start city will be all-new, all the roads of this 4th stage (166.5kms) have already been raced on in the Arctic Race. During this stage, the “Midnight Sun Jersey” of the leader of the general classification and the “Salmon Jersey” of the best climber could switch riders because there will be six climbs, three before the final 10.5km circuit then three others (Skistua Summit: 2.2kms at 6.6%) located on the same circuit where Dylan Teuns took a memorable win in 2017. The Narvik ski station will conclude this 7th edition at the bottom of the slopes.  The town is bidding to become the Norwegian candidate to host the 2027 World Alpine Skiing Championships.

The Arctic Race of Norway shines the spotlight on the stars of tomorrow
A few hours before the arrival of the professionals in the streets of Narvik, the 17 and 18-year old talents coming from all over Norway and five European countries will have their moment in the sun in the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race. This race for junior riders organised jointly with Equinor, the main sponsor of the Arctic Race of Norway, and the Norwegian Cycling Federation, has become the revelatory event of the future stars of the men’s and women’s pelotons in a country whose passion for cycling is well-known. Winner of the first edition of the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race in 2013 in Harstad, Kristoffer Halvorsen won the World Junior Road Race Championship in 2016, before joining the Sky team this season.

Thor Hushovd, World Champion and race ambassador:This 7th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will again be spectacular and undecided just until the last day in Narvik. The first two stages will be an open-air show. In 2013 when I won stage 2 at Svolvær, I rode the most beautiful stage of my career on that day. The finishes at Storheia Summit, the «Mont Ventoux» of the Vesterålen Islands and at Narvik will certainly be won by the strongest riders.

The Arctic Race of Norway is delighted to announce the renewal of its partnerships for the next three years with SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge as Official Partner and Telenor as Official Fan.
Initiated in 2013, the collaboration with SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge contributes to the development of cycling practice by young children. Since 2013, more than 11 000 children have participated in the SNN Mini Arctic Race all across Northern Norway.
Year after year, Telenor invests in the extension of the 4G network all over Northern Norway and therefore contributes to ensuring optimal conditions for TV production and for the spectators’ experience all along the route.

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