Arctic Race of Norway 2019 - 15/18 Aug

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Another day of splendid racing in Norway! I don't think Lutsenko did everything right in the end - too many attacks - but very entertaining.
Neither did Barguil by going on the attack with Lutsenko. He unintentionally made the race so tough that the bonus seconds were more likely to be up for graps for riders such as his worst rival Lutsenko, in the end. Totally unnecessary.
 
Neither did Barguil by going on the attack with Lutsenko. He unintentionally made the race so tough that the bonus seconds were more likely to be up for graps for riders such as his worst rival Lutsenko, in the end. Totally unnecessary.
Watching the final kilometers, I kept thinking that the bonus seconds were going to bite someone. It turns out they bit Barguil the hardest. But that is racing. It was a great stage, today. The scenery is really beautiful up there.
 
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Kind of sad that a big race such as this gets almost no coverage in the Norwegian mainstream media:

https://www.nrk.no/sport/

Hoelgård (a **** Norwegian rider for goodness sake) won the stage and yet there is only room for a short text in the far right side of the front sports news page. Heck, they even misspelled it "Artic Race of Norway".

Is the rival HC race Tour of Norway considered a bigger race among Norwegians?
 
Kind of sad that a big race such as this gets almost no coverage in the Norwegian mainstream media:

https://www.nrk.no/sport/

Hoelgård (a **** Norwegian rider for goodness sake) won the stage and yet there is only room for a short text in the far right side of the front sports news page. Heck, they even misspelled it "Artic Race of Norway".

Is the rival HC race Tour of Norway considered a bigger race among Norwegians?
TV2 covered the entire race with full stage transmissions. They probably have more on the race.
 
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Kind of sad that a big race such as this gets almost no coverage in the Norwegian mainstream media:

https://www.nrk.no/sport/

Hoelgård (a **** Norwegian rider for goodness sake) won the stage and yet there is only room for a short text in the far right side of the front sports news page. Heck, they even misspelled it "Artic Race of Norway".

Is the rival HC race Tour of Norway considered a bigger race among Norwegians?
To the last question: No. It is a big rival, but Arctic Race is still the biggest deal when it comes to cycling in Norway by most measures. TV2 (the largest commercial TV-channel in Norway) has had a great coverage and has also been running commercials on the race all year. The sponsors of the race is also among the biggest in Norway. This race is one of their main events all season. It is a challenge for the organizers that it is so far north, even for most Norwegians it is a a little of the grid. I think this years race has been fantastic! A great fight in all competitions to the very end. Eexciting! I guess you can't go wrong with stages in Lofoten if you want to present a nice scenery. The weather has been good to.
 
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On a funnier note, according to TV2 Norge, Barguil has apparently attacked Gasparotto verbally, because he was discontent with the way the sprint was ridden. Apparently, he thinks that Gaspa closed him when Luts started his sprint and that this "maneuver" cost him the 1 second.

Watching the replay from various angles, it looks like Barguil is just being Barguil. But maybe I am missing something?
 
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To the last question: No. It is a big rival, but Arctic Race is still the biggest deal when it comes to cycling in Norway by most measures. TV2 (the largest commercial TV-channel in Norway) has had a great coverage and has also been running commercials on the race all year. The sponsors of the race is also among the biggest in Norway. This race is one of their main events all season. It is a challenge for the organizers that it is so far north, even for most Norwegians it is a a little of the grid. I think this years race has been fantastic! A great fight in all competitions to the very end. Eexciting! I guess you can't go wrong with stages in Lofoten if you want to present a nice scenery. The weather has been good to.
Do you happen to know if there are any major paved climbs in the area at around the same difficulty or more difficult than the climb to Storheia from yesterday's stage? I know this region of Norway is probably not stacked with heavy-lifters like Dalsnibba, Trollstigen or Sognefjellet, but still there must be some great climbs in the northern parts of Norway? The only ones I can think of areNesnaveien and Melfjordveien, but they are both easier than Storheia and possibly also more southern than the Arctic Race of Norway would ever go.
 
Do you happen to know if there are any major paved climbs in the area at around the same difficulty or more difficult than the climb to Storheia from yesterday's stage? I know this region of Norway is probably not stacked with heavy-lifters like Dalsnibba, Trollstigen or Sognefjellet, but still there must be some great climbs in the northern parts of Norway? The only ones I can think of areNesnaveien and Melfjordveien, but they are both easier than Storheia and possibly also more southern than the Arctic Race of Norway would ever go.
Nesnaveien was actually used by the Arctic Race as the first climb of stage 3 in 2016. That stage finished on Korgfjellet, the climb with the highest elevation I know in norther Norway, 575 m. Korgfjellet was also used on stage 2 of that edition, which finished in Sandnessjøen. Other than that, the finish at the North Cape is pretty hard as well, particularly factoring in the climb out of the tunnel.
With Narvik bidding for the Ski world championships 2027 there may be the possibility for roads to be paved above the city. The climb to the fjell station is 6 km @ 10 %, currently on gravel, with the central 3.7 km @ >12 %.
 
I think today's tight decision illustrates the absurdity of the distribution of bonus seconds. To a mathematical mind like mine, it has never made sense that there is a four second difference between first and second, than a two second difference between second and third, and then again a four second difference between third and fourth.

That difference needs to be descending as the placings increase, instead of going back up to 4.

It seems extremely arbitrary to think that Lutsenko would have won the race in the event that the sprint had been for the stage victory or for third place, but if Jansen had not snuck away and claimed second, then Barguil would have won the race if Lutsenko was second and Barguil third.

10, 5 and 2 would be a much better distribution.
 
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Neither did Barguil by going on the attack with Lutsenko. He unintentionally made the race so tough that the bonus seconds were more likely to be up for graps for riders such as his worst rival Lutsenko, in the end. Totally unnecessary.
He also had the bad luck of the incomprehensive bonus seconds series 10-6-4, which really should be 10-6-3 to have more sensible gaps between them. Without Groendahl Barguil would have saved his GC win. Without Hoelgaard as well he would have lost the GC again.
 
Nesnaveien was actually used by the Arctic Race as the first climb of stage 3 in 2016. That stage finished on Korgfjellet, the climb with the highest elevation I know in norther Norway, 575 m. Korgfjellet was also used on stage 2 of that edition, which finished in Sandnessjøen. Other than that, the finish at the North Cape is pretty hard as well, particularly factoring in the climb out of the tunnel.
With Narvik bidding for the Ski world championships 2027 there may be the possibility for roads to be paved above the city. The climb to the fjell station is 6 km @ 10 %, currently on gravel, with the central 3.7 km @ >12 %.
This is interesting. I knew about the road to the Fjell Station. Isn't there also a road that goes higher than the Skiskua in Narvik?

I am going to check out the climb to Korgfjellet.
 
This is interesting. I knew about the road to the Fjell Station. Isn't there also a road that goes higher than the Skiskua in Narvik?

I am going to check out the climb to Korgfjellet.
There are some gravel roads south of Narvik, which were persumably built for construction and maintenance of several hydroelectric powerplants. I am talking about lakes such as Iptojávri, Gautelisvatnet or Kjårdavatnet. These roads go above 700 m, but I'm note sure if you were referring to them. You could certainly do some mega-epic gravel race there, but it seems a bit too unrealistic..

 
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On a funnier note, according to TV2 Norge, Barguil has apparently attacked Gasparotto verbally, because he was discontent with the way the sprint was ridden. Apparently, he thinks that Gaspa closed him when Luts started his sprint and that this "maneuver" cost him the 1 second.

Watching the replay from various angles, it looks like Barguil is just being Barguil. But maybe I am missing something?
Barguil was on Luts wheel at any other vital point of the stage. He wasn't in the finale and for that he can only blame himself.
 
There are some gravel roads south of Narvik, which were persumably built for construction and maintenance of several hydroelectric powerplants. I am talking about lakes such as Iptojávri, Gautelisvatnet or Kjårdavatnet. These roads go above 700 m, but I'm note sure if you were referring to them. You could certainly do some mega-epic gravel race there, but it seems a bit too unrealistic..

I was thinking about the road that cuts off from the circuit they were riding today. It goes to the water treatment plant above Narvik. Apparently, it is not that much higher situated than the Skistua road and it is obviously a blind road. But it's defiinitely a tougher ascent than the one they rode today.

Korgfjellet looks very interesting. Basically 9km á 6% going from Korgen to Korgfjellet Fjellstue, which is probably some of the toughest I have seen in this area. And the road surface looks decent too.
 

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