Kristoff captains the Norwegian National Team in Arctic Race of Norway
July 15 th 2021 - 18:49
The Norwegian Cycling Federation will present the National Team during the Arctic Race of Norway in August. Alexander Kristoff becomes captain of the national team with several of the biggest Norwegian cycling profiles.
On home turf
Kristoff has, among other things, four stage victories in the Tour de France. He has also won five stages in the Arctic Race of Norway, and came second overall in 2014. In addition to Kristoff, the national team includes Sven Erik Bystrøm and Andreas Leknessund. Tromsø native Leknessund will really be able to compete on home turf when it is now clear that the entire first stage will go through the municipality where he grew up. Leknessund won the National Championships in time trial in 2020 won a gold medal in the European U23 Championship time trial the same year. Bystrøm became Norwegian champion in road cycling in 2020 and was U23 World Champion in the same exercise in 2014.
A window of opportunity for the Norwegians
By having the national team start, the best Norwegian cyclists who do not participate with their respective professional teams, get an opportunity to compete in beautiful northern Norwegian nature, in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Cycling president Jan-Oddvar Sørnes thinks the Arctic Race of Norway is a nice showcase for Norway's best riders.
- This will be a good setup with great matching for the national team. And since the Arctic Race of Norway is followed all over the world, it is also a great opportunity for our riders to put themselves on display, says Sørnes.
An extra dimension
The general manager of the Arctic race of Norway is happy that the national team is heading north.
- Through the national team's participation, we get the best Norwegian riders. That is brilliant, but I also think that it will benefit the recruitment to the cycling sport that the young talents get to see the national team up close, says Dybdal.
He also believes that the national team will provide an extra dimension for the tens of thousands of spectators who line up along the track. -
The spectators of Arctic Race of Norway is known for showing great commitment, and this year those who do not have a professional team they cheer on, will have the opportunity to cheer on the national team at home. I think many will see this as an opportunity to do a little extra, says Dybdal.
Thor Hushovd, who is a former world champion in road cycling, is looking forward to seeing the Norwegian national team jerseys during Arctic Race of Norway. He thinks the national team will face tough competition, but nevertheless expects them to influence the race.
- During the Arctic Race of Norway, 11 of the teams that competed in the Tour de France participate. It means tough matching for the national team. I still believe that several of the riders on the national team should have good opportunities to assert themselves in the summary and be part of the battle for stage victories. For example, it would have been cool if Kristoff had taken another stage victory, in the Norwegian national team jersey, says Hushovd.
The national team
The Norwegian national team for the Arctic Race of Norway 2021
1. Alexander Kristoff - UAE
2. Sven Erik Bystrøm - UAE
3. Andreas Leknessund - DSM
4. Ådne Holter - Lillehammer CK
5. Ludvik Holstad - Lillehammer CK
6. Andre Drege - Lillehammer CK