Arctic Race of Norway 2021 (August 5-8)

Yes, the big August showdown is finally here as the Arctic Race of Norway kicks off on August 5th. For the first time the route of the "northernmost bike race" will also venture into Finland, on stage 2. Looking forward to the spectacular landscapes, and while there's no Mathieu van der Poel this year the organisers have confirmed that "dedicated fisherman" Warren Barguil will return.

The route:



Thursday 5th August, stage 1: Tromsø – Tromsø, 142,4km


Friday 6th August, stage 2: Nordkjosbotn – Storfjord / Kilpisjärvi, 177,6km



Saturday 7th August, stage 3: Finnsnes – Målselv, 184,5km


Sunday 8th August, stage 4: Gratangen - Harstad, 163,5km


The contenders:

"Ben Hermans, the only stage winner in the “Alpine Village” (in 2015) up to date, will lead Israel Start-Up Nation with the aim of an overall success this time around. No less than 11 teams will line up in Tromsø after having taken part in the Tour de France: Astana-Premier Tech with former u23 world champion Samuele Battistella, AG2R Citroën Team with classics star Oliver Naesen, Bora-Hansgrohe with road captain Juraj Sagan, Cofidis with Giro d’Italia stage winner Victor Lafay, Qhubeka NextHash with brave heart Nic Dlamini, TotalEnergies with Spanish climber Cristian Rodriguez and Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert matériaux with Norway’s Odd Christian Eiking, the Storheia stage winner two years ago, Uno-X pro cycling teal with Markus Hoelgaard who claimed the last stage in Narvik the following day.

Shall sprinters get an opportunity or more, Alexander Kristoff, racing under the colours of the Norwegian national team, will face a fierce competition in the presence of Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe), Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Dan McLay (Team Arkea-Samsic), Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation), Clément Venturini (AG2R Citroën Team), Edouard Michael Grosu (Delko), Manuel Penalver (Burgos-BH) and Juanjo Lobato (Euskaltel-Euskadi)."

 
Don't forget the most important of prizes; a whole lot of salmon for the KoM winner! Which, of course, means it's rather unfortunate that DSM isn't riding.
Maybe their rider is the one to be cut up and frozen down for the KOM to savour? That could explain why they aren't invited because what if he won the KOM? That would be a head-scratcher for the organisers.
 
As I remember it, it was raining from start to finish last time. That ruined the beauty of the landscapes a bit.

The stages look nice, but I wonder why there a so few real mountain stages in the Norwegian races. Some people have claimed that the organizers left out the big climbs to favor the sprinters and puncheurs of the home country, but in the last couple of years, we've seen some good Norwegian climbers.
 
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As I remember it, it was raining from start to finish last time. That ruined the beauty of the landscapes a bit.
Yeah well, that's what it does in Norway. Rain. A lot.
Unless it's snowing ;)

The stages look nice, but I wonder why there a so few real mountain stages in the Norwegian races. Some people have claimed that the organizers left out the big climbs to favor the sprinters and puncheurs of the home country, but in the last couple of years, we've seen some good Norwegian climbers.
Which big climbs would that be? The bigger climbs in Norway are more south, and then it's not really arctic anymore, is it?
 
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The stages look nice, but I wonder why there a so few real mountain stages in the Norwegian races.
Because it is in the arctic. For most of the year the mountains are covered by snow. It isn't very economic to build roads on mountains full of snow and avalanches that would only be open 3-4 months of the year. So the roads goes in the valleys and down the coastline. Whenever it needs to cross a mountain they try to keep the roads as low as possible or drill a tunnel. Norway sure knows how to drill.
 
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Because it is in the arctic. For most of the year the mountains are covered by snow. It isn't very economic to build roads on mountains full of snow and avalanches that would only be open 3-4 months of the year. So the roads goes in the valleys and down the coastline. Whenever it needs to cross a mountain they try to keep the roads as low as possible or drill a tunnel. Norway sure knows how to drill.
There are loads of good climbs on good roads. Why not have a finish line at Juvashytta? Why is Gaustatoppen so rarely represented in Norwegian races?
 
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There are loads of good climbs on good roads. Why not have a finish line at Juvashytta? Why is Gaustatoppen so rarely represented in Norwegian races?
Those are in the south of Norway where there are some nice climbs. A finish on Trollstigen would be spectacular and there is a roller ski race every year that climbs from Lysebotn. I don't know why but it has a little to do with logistics. Tour of Norway was mostly based around south east of Norway where there is mostly flat and boring. It would for sure be better if it was in the west. Arctic race do have some punchy climbs, but most of the possible mountain climbs are gravel roads
 
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Those are in the south of Norway where there are some nice climbs. A finish on Trollstigen would be spectacular and there is a roller ski race every year that climbs from Lysebotn. I don't know why but it has a little to do with logistics. Tour of Norway was mostly based around south east of Norway where there is mostly flat and boring. It would for sure be better if it was in the west. Arctic race do have some punchy climbs, but most of the possible mountain climbs are gravel roads
Yours truly has a week long Norwegian race in the Tour de Suisse/Dauphiné "petit-Grand-Tour" mould in the backlog for the Race Design Thread.
 
There are loads of good climbs on good roads. Why not have a finish line at Juvashytta? Why is Gaustatoppen so rarely represented in Norwegian races?
Probably because the don't pay for it or make it more difficult for the organizers. One reason given for the last lame Deutschland Tour route, by the way, was that it was supposed to be "safe", so instead of some lovely climbs which would have been in the area, too, they picked the biggest and most boring streets / highways, as they feared that otherwise the reputation of the race would suffer / that teams wouldn't want to bring their high class riders to a smaller preparation race where something unnecessary could happen.
 

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