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Monday, May 27, 2013

Arctic race of Norway

With four stages in the heart of a new world for cycling, from August 8th to 11th, the international elite will cross the Arctic Circle for the first edition of the Arctic Race of Norway. In the midst of the Norwegian fjords in the Counties of Nordlandand Troms, the route should create a series of confrontations between sprinters, who will discover the subtleties of a unique coastline.

Welcome to Bodo
At more than 1,000 kilometres to the north of Oslo, the riders coming from the Tour de France will again cross a symbolic line, but this time it will be that of the Arctic Circle. The race will start in Bodo, for a first stage that loops around a 192.5 km route that will also be the hilliest of the week. Among the five difficulties on the day’s programme, the pack will reach a top altitude of 500 metres after a ten-kilometre climb half way through the stage. The effort required should not, however, disrupt the plans of the sprinters for the battle at the finish.

A tour of the Lofoten Islands and of Vesteralen
During two days, the riders will carry out a genuine exploration of the Lofoten Islands, one of the jewels of the country. From one fishing port to another, the route will only rarely stray from the coast and will run alongside the mountainous relief that gives the landscape such personality. Between Svolvaerand and Stokmarknes, the pack will be faced with a brand new experience, after having taken an undersea tunnel leading to the “lowest summit in the world”: points for the best climber classification will be attributed at an altitude of 5 metres!

A tense final circuit in Harstad
At the start of the 4thstage in Sortland, the wearer of the blue and orange leader’s jersey will still have much to do. The most delicate and stressful part could even start on the entrance to Harstad, where a 6-kilometre circuit will be covered five times. In this thirty-kilometre long round-about, there will still be several precious bonus seconds up for grabs on two intermediate sprints before the finish. To spice things up even further, the finishing line is located at the top of a one-kilometre long slope that could be ideal for a puncher, inspiring riders whose speciality is a hold-up!

“We are proud to let our nature and landscapes provide the arena of the Arctic Race of Norway. It is with great enthusiasm that we look forward to presenting the spectacular and unique Northern Norway. We support this event since cycling is one of the world’s biggest sports, and the race constitutes an important promotional event for the tourism in the North”.
Joint statement from the three northernmost Counties of Norway

“Cycling provides a great showcase for the countries and regions it crosses It highlights their cultural heritage and favours the development of tourism. The Arctic Race of Norway will be an opportunity for one of the most beautiful places on the planet to appear on TV screens all over the world. This race is also a tribute to Norwegians’ growing interest for cycling. Based on our expertise with 47 sports events each year, the ASO will do its utmost to make the Arctic Race of Norway and international success.”
Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of Amaury Sport Organisation