Schlagwort-Archive: Arctic Race of Norway

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY 2022: NORWEGIAN ARMADA TO FIGHT THE ARCTIC CROWN BACK

Key points:
• The Arctic Race of Norway is showcasing a strong contingent of home talents. Riders such as DSM’s Andreas Leknessund or Uno-X’s Tobias Halland Johannessen will aim to be first Norwegian GC winner of this race since Thor Hushovd achieved the overall victory on its maiden edition (2013).
• Reigning champions Israel-Premier Tech field a strong line-up with Latvia’s Krists Neilands, Norway’s Carl Hagen and the two recent stage winners on the Tour de France, Hugo Houle and Simon Clarke to defend the crown claimed by Ben Hermans last year.
• Tour de France stage winner Dylan Groenewegen will try and land a sprint victory for Team BikeExchange – Jayco on the Australian outfit’s debut in the world’s northernmost race.

The ninth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway is the first one that will be fully held below the Arctic Circle – but the heat of the competition will be as high as ever. Six UCI WorldTeams spearhead the team list with many different targets in sight. Israel-Premier Tech won’t enter defending champion Ben Hermans, yet fields a very strong squad of riders capable of delivering an outstanding result. After a resilient display on the Tour de France, Krists Neilands will try to improve his third place on the GC of the 2019 edition of this race while his teammate Patrick Bevin aims at netting his second UCI ProSeries stage race of the season after winning the Tour of Turkey in April. Along with these two leaders comes Norway’s Carl Fredrik Hagen, twice top10 finisher on the Arctic Race’s GC and the two recent stage winners on the Tour de France, Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle.

Hagen is not the sole local rider entering the Arctic Race of Norway with the ambition of triumphing in the overall classification, a feat that has not been replicated by a Norwegian rider since Thor Hushovd conquered the first edition of the event back in 2013. 22-year-old Tobias Halland Johannessen is one of the most exciting talents in the world of cycling after winning the 2021 Tour de l’Avenir and claiming the best young rider jersey on this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. The uphill finish at Skallstuggu Summit, to be held on stage 3, should be the ideal hunting ground for Uno-X’s bright prospect. There he will face Andreas Leknessund, a cyclist who has already triumphed in Trondheim, host city of the lumpy final stage, as he claimed the ITT National Championship there as a junior five years ago. 7th on the final GC last year, Leknessund leads a well-rounded Team DSM squad on which Cees Bol will play for the sprint finishes expected in the two opening stages at Mo I Rana and Brønnøysund…

… As will do another renowned Norwegian rider, TotalEnergies’ Edvald Boasson Hagen, who is yet to win a stage in this race. The man to beat on this domain, though, is no one but Dylan Groenewegen. His team, BikeExchange-Jayco, is making its first appearance on the Arctic Race of Norway this very month of August, and is seemingly willing to do it in style. The Dutch rider will be supported by most of the train that led him out a stage of the Tour de France a few weeks ago in Sønderborg, and will try to keep his good vibe in Nordic roads while his teammate Amund Jansen enjoys racing in home soil and Australia’s Nick Schultz targets the GC.

Meant to upset the ambitions of the sprinters are powerhouses like Intermarché’s Quinten Hermans, who astounded the cycling world by landing a podium spot at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and intends to put his quality into display after missing the Tour de France. Rider who have already tasted victory on this event, Norway’s August Jensen, lead the charge from the USA’s Human Powered Health. Like Jensen, who were 2nd overall in 2017, Cofidis’ Victor Lafay has already podiumed on the GC as he was 3rd last year. One of the most celebrated additions to this Arctic Race’s team roster is China Glory Continental Cycling Team, who enters USA’s Sean Bennett as a designed leader and China’s Lyu Xianjing as a joker prepared to make waves in the Norwegian Sea.

The 19 teams of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway

Australia
Team BikeExchange-Jayco : Groenewegen (Ned), Jansen (Nor), Schultz (Aus)

Belgium
Alpecin-Deceuninck : Gogl (Aut), Sbaragli (Ita)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB : Livyns (Bel), L. Wirtgen (Lux)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux : Bystrom (Nor), Hermans (Bel), Van der Hoorn (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise : Marit, Reynders (Bel)

China
China Glory Continental Cycling Team: Bennett (USA), Lyu (Chn)

France
B&B Hotels-KTM : Mozzato (Ita), Koretzky (Fra)
Cofidis : Lafay, Pérez (Fra)
Team Arkea-Samsic : Vauquelin (Fra), Verre (Ita)
TotalEnergies : Boasson Hagen (Nor), Burgaudeau (Fra)

Great Britain
Team Trinity Racing : Gloag (Gbr), Porter (Aus)

Israel
Israel-Premier Tech: Bevin (Nzl), Hagen (Nor), Neilands (Lat), Clarke (Aus), Houle (Can)

Kazakhstan
Astana Qazaqstan Team : Conti, Gazzoli (Ita)

Netherlands
Team DSM : Leknessund (Nor), Bol (Ned), Donovan (Gbr)

Norway
Team Coop : Stokbro (Den), Aalrust (Nor)
Uno X-Pro Cycling Team : T. Johannessen, Andersen (Nor)

Spain
Burgos-BH: Raïm (Est), Orts (Spa)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Aristi, Maté (Spa)

USA
Human Powered Health : Aasvold, Jensen (Nor)

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY 2022

CHINA AND AUSTRALIA TO MEET UP IN THE NORTHERNMOST PRO BIKE RACE

Key points:
• Six UCI WorldTeams to take part in the ninth Arctic Race of Norway, 11-14 August 2022.
• Team BikeExchange-Jayco, China Glory Continental Cycling and Trinity Racing to line up for the first time.
The ninth Arctic Race of Norway will be held from 11 to 14 August 2022 on the same 4-day format as in previous years but for the first time below and not above the Arctic Circle. The event will welcome a well-balanced field of 19 teams, 10 of which will also take part in the 2022 Tour de France.

Accustomed to hosting the only African formation (Qhubeka) which has faded from the highest professional level, the race will be contested by teams from all other continents this time around: Oceania with the first ever participation of Team BikeExchange-Jayco, America with the return after a two-year hiatus of Human Powered Health that won a stage with Colin Joyce under the name of Rally Cycling in 2018, Asia with the brand new China Glory Continental Cycling Team, and of course Europe which keeps composing the majority of the peloton.

Two of the selected squads are from the hosting country: Coop that hasn’t missed a single edition of the ARN and won the mountains classification last year with Fredrik Dversenes, and Uno-X, the current talent factory of Norwegian cycling that developed the past two winners of the Tour de l’Avenir, Tobias Foss in 2019 and Tobias Halland Johannessen in 2021. Four UCI WorldTeams have famous Norwegians in their ranks: Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux (Alexander Kristoff and Sven-Erik Bystrøm), Team BikeExchange-Jayco (Amund Grøndahl Jansen), Team DSM (Andreas Leknessund and Jonas Iversby Hvideberg), as well as Israel-Premier Tech (Carl Fredrik Hagen).

August Jensen, a stage winner and second overall in 2017, first world class cyclist from northern Norway before the coming of age of Leknessund, is now with Human Powered Health along with Kristian Aasvold who came fifth overall in the 2021 Arctic Race of Norway. TotalEnergies features the inexhaustible Edvald Boasson Hagen who hasn’t said his last word on a bike yet.

Norwegian fans on the road side love their home favourites but the event equally attracts attention all over the world. It’ll be the seventh participation of Astana Qazaqstan Team that already bagged three overall classifications: with Rein Taaramäe in 2015, Sergei Chernetski in 2018 and Alexey Lutsenko in 2019.

“We appreciate the great loyalty of the teams who have regularly participated in the event and renowned runners like Warren Barguil also ask to come back”, commented technical director Yannick Talabardon. “There is something new this year with the BikeExchange-Jayco Team, the China Glory Continental Cycling Team, which represents a very big project for the world of cycling, and Trinity Racing, which should allow to discover new talents of international scope. It’ll make it a very interesting start list.”

The teams of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway:

UCI WorldTeams (6)
Astana Qazaqstan Team
Cofidis
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
Team BikeExchange-Jayco
Team DSM
Israel-Premier Tech

UCI ProTeams (10)
Alpecin-Fenix
Team Arkea-Samsic
B&B Hotels-KTM
Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB
Burgos-BH
Euskaltel-Euskadi
Human Powered Health
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise
Uno X-Pro Cycling Team
TotalEnergies

Continental Teams (3)
Team Coop
China Glory Continental Cycling Team
Trinity Racing

The stages of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway

Thursday 11 August, Stage 1: Mo I Rana – Mo I Rana (185 km)
Friday 12 August, Stage 2: Mosjøen – Brønnøysund (155 km)
Saturday 13 August, Stage 3: Namsos – Skallstuggu summit (180 km)
Sunday 14 August, Stage 4: Trondheim – Trondheim (160 km)

Find more information about the Arctic Race of Norway on arctic-race.com

Arctic Race of Norway – Etappe 4

Gratangen – Harstad – 163,50 Km

1 WALSLEBEN Philipp GER ALPECIN-FENIX 03:41:40
2 TERPSTRA Niki NED TOTALENERGIES 00:00
3 DELETTRE Alexandre FRA DELKO 00:17
4 EIKING Odd Christian NOR INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:17
5 RESELL Erik Nordsaeter NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:19
6 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:19
7 ZINGLE Axel FRA COFIDIS 00:19
8 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:19
9 LAFAY Victor FRA COFIDIS 00:19
10 VAKOČ Petr CZE ALPECIN-FENIX 00:19

Endstand:

1 HERMANS Ben BEL ISRAEL START-UP NATION 15:04:02
2 EIKING Odd Christian NOR INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:02
3 LAFAY Victor FRA COFIDIS 00:06
4 BATTISTELLA Samuele ITA ASTANA – PREMIER TECH 00:20
5 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:26
6 PRADES REVERTER Eduard ESP DELKO 00:29
7 LEKNESSUND Andreas NOR NORWAY 00:29
8 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:32
9 ERIKSSON Jacob SWE TEAM COOP 00:36
10 TRÆEN Torstein NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:50

Ben Hermans caps it off

Ben Hermans controlled the last stage at perfection to take home the trophy of the Arctic Race of Norway he missed out six years ago. Odd Christian Eiking settled for second as he only gained two seconds, half of what he needed, over the race leader in the final uphill in Harstad where Philipp Walsleben outclassed Niki Terpstra for the stage win. Best young rider Victor Lafay rounded out the podium of the 8th edition of the northernmost bike race that showcased stunning landscapes once again.

Nine riders in the lead
106 riders took the start of the fourth and last stage of the 8th Arctic Race of Norway in Gratangen, for the grand finale in Harstad. 9 riders took off early: Erik Resell (Uno-X), Aimé De Gendt (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Niki Terpstra (TotalEnergies), Thomas Champion (Cofidis), Philipp Walsleben (Alpecin-Fenix), Alexandre Delettre and Michael Edouard Grosu (Delko), Ceriel Desal (Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB) and Tore André Vabø (Team Coop). The standard gap allowed by Israel-Start Up-Nation at the helm was 2’30’’ – the time difference recorded at half way into the race.

Terpstra and Walsleben with 5km to go
The Euskaltel team was eager to bring the breakaway back as the peloton reached the finishing circuit in Harstad. The time difference was down to 1’ with 22km to go as Resell sped up the head of the race. Grosu got reeled in 20km before the finish, followed by Desal and Vabø. Champion lost contact with the front group with 14km to go. Walsleben upped the tempo with 10.5km remaining meanwhile Torjus Sleen (Uno-X) went in between and Israel-Start Up-Nation seized the reins of the bunch, after which the time difference went from 30’’ back to 1’. Henok Mulhubran (Qhubeka-NextHash) tried his luck with 6km to go. Terpstra and Walsleben formed a leading duo 5km before the end.

Eiking only two seconds ahead of Hermans
Terpstra and Walsleben had 25’’ lead with 2.5km to go and the final uphill yet to come. They managed to stay away and Walsleben, a former cyclo-cross rider, had what it takes to rush to the win up the hill against a Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner. Delettre managed to avoid the return of the peloton to finish third of stage 4. Eiking gave it all to finish with the same time as the Frenchman and two seconds ahead of the peloton that included his direct rivals Hermans and Lafay. In the end, the 35 year old from Belgium who already won stage races like the Tour of Oman and the Tour of Austria in the past concluded the Arctic Race of Norway with no hiccups, just as he wished after his victory in the queen stage to Målselv on Saturday.

Arctic Race of Norway – Etappe 3

Finnsnes – Målselv – 185 Km

1 HERMANS Ben BEL ISRAEL START-UP NATION 04:14:28
2 EIKING Odd Christian NOR INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:00
3 LAFAY Victor FRA COFIDIS 00:00
4 BATTISTELLA Samuele ITA ASTANA – PREMIER TECH 00:12
5 PRADES Eduard ESP DELKO 00:19
6 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:19
7 LEKNESSUND Andreas NOR NORWAY 00:19
8 SOTO Antonio Jesús ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:19
9 SANCHEZ Pelayo ESP BURGOS-BH 00:19
10 TRÆEN Torstein NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:22

Gesamt:
1 HERMANS Ben BEL ISRAEL START-UP NATION 11:22:03
2 EIKING Odd Christian NOR INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:04
3 LAFAY Victor FRA COFIDIS 00:06
4 BATTISTELLA Samuele ITA ASTANA – PREMIER TECH 00:20
5 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:26
6 SOTO Antonio Jesús ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:28
7 PRADES Eduard ESP DELKO 00:29
8 LEKNESSUND Andreas NOR NORWAY 00:29
9 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:32
10 ERIKSSON Jacob SWE TEAM COOP 00:36

Like in 2015, Ben Hermans won the queen stage to Målselv and moved into the lead, ahead of Odd Christian Eiking and Victor Lafay. With a slim advantage, the Belgian from Israel-Start Up-Nation hopes for a better outcome than six years ago.

Five riders in the lead
107 riders took the start of stage 3 in Finnsnes for what was considered the queen stage with the much anticipated finish in the “Alpine village” of Målselv and the Prime Minister Erna Solberg in attendance. After a very active start and several skirmishes, a group of five riders went clear off the peloton: stage 2 winner Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe), King of the Mountains Fredrik Dversnes (Team Coop), Jens Reynders (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Xabier Azparren (Euskaltel) and Julien Duval (AG2R-Citroën). Duval passed the first intermediate sprint at Gibostad (km 22) in first position. Dversnes extended his lead in the KOM competition as he crested all four category 2 climbs ahead of his breakaway companions. The leading quintet approached the last 50km with its maximum advantage of 3’.

Seb Berwick keeps attackers on a leash
It was clear for everyone that race leader Alexander Kristoff wasn’t going to defend his midnight sun jersey. However, his Norwegian national team combined forces with Intermarché-Wanty Gobert to bring the breakaway back. At the 20km to go mark, Arkea-Samsic and Uno-X came in help. Laas was the first breakaway rider to surrender with 11km to go as the deficit of the peloton was down to 1’05’’. Duval was next to let Dversnes, Reynders and Azparren go. Dversnes and Azparren were the last escapees to be reeled in, precisely at the bottom of the 4-km long uphill finish. Antonio Soto (Euskaltel) launched the first attack from the bunch but Seb Berwick (Israel-Start Up-Nation) brought the peloton back to him with 2km to go.

Hermans the strongest of the leading trio
Local star in the making Andreas Leknessund (Norwegian national team) sped up before Eiking made his move 1.3km before the finishing line. Lafay reacted. Hermans came across. Best young rider Samuele Battistella (Astana) was close to joining them but had to settle for fourth as the leading trio of the 8th Arctic Race of Norway emerged. Hermans was the strongest in a tight finish with Eiking who has one more chance to take the top prize on the spectacular conclusive circuit in Harstad on Sunday. Meanwhile Hermans moved into the midnight sun jersey, Lafay took the white jersey over from Battistella.

Arctic Race of Norway – Etappe 2

Nordkjosbotn – Storfjord – Kilpisjärvi (FIN) – 178 Km

1 LAAS Martin EST BORA – HANSGROHE 03:56:14
2 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR NORWAY 00:00
3 VAN POPPEL Danny NED INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:00
4 BARBIER Rudy FRA ISRAEL START-UP NATION 00:00
5 PEÑALVER ANIORTE Manuel ESP BURGOS-BH 00:00
6 MARIT Arne BEL SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE 00:00
7 DEVRIENDT Tom BEL INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:00
8 WELTEN Bram NED TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:00
9 BOASSON-HAGEN Edvald NOR TOTALENERGIES 00:00
10 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:00

Gesamt:
1 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR NORWAY 07:07:33
2 HOELGAARD Markus NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 00:00
3 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:08
4 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:09
5 BATTISTELLA Samuele ITA ASTANA – PREMIER TECH 00:10
6 SOTO GUIRAO Antonio Jesus ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:11
7 PICHON Laurent FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:11
8 VAN GESTEL Dries BEL TOTALENERGIES 00:12
9 ANGULO SAMPEDRO Antonio ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:12
10 ZINGLE Axel FRA COFIDIS 00:12

Martin Laas siegt auf der 2. Etappe des Arctic Race of Norway

Am zweiten Tag ging es über 177,6 km von Nordkjosbotn nach Kilpisjärvi. Es war das erste Mal in der Geschichte der Rundfahrt, dass das Rennen einen Abstecher nach Finnland machte. Nach welligem Auftakt und einem flachen Mittelteil warteten auf den letzten 40 km, die fast ständig bergauf führten, noch zwei Bergwertungen, ehe es dann wellig bis zum Ziel ging. Trotz der Anstiege war die Etappe etwas für die Sprinter, die am Ende den Tag für sich entschieden. Eine starke 5-Mann Ausreißergruppe prägte das Rennen für lange Zeit, aber nachdem im letzten Renndrittel die Sprinterteams, besonders auch BORA – hansgrohe, die Führungsarbeit verstärkt übernommen hatten, war es letztendlich 2 km vor dem Ziel um die letzten Flüchtlinge geschehen. Im Finale lancierte Martin Laas seinen Sprint von ziemlich weit hinten, konnte aber an seinen Kontrahenten in letzter Minute vorbeiziehen und den Sieg in einem Fotofinish einfahren.

Reaktionen im Ziel
„Ich bin wirklich froh, dass ich heute gewinnen konnte, vor allem wenn man in Betracht zieht, wie viele starke Sprinter hier im Peloton sind. Das Finale war etwas knifflig, es gab Gegenwind, am Ende ging es leicht bergab, und 5 km vor dem Ziel hatte ich Krämpfe. Aber dank meines Teams konnten wir unseren Plan letztendlich durchziehen. Im Finale hat Rudi mich in Position gebracht und dann habe ich mich an verschiedene Hinterräder geklemmt und auf den letzten 150 m habe ich meinen Sprint lanciert. Ich dachte, ich könnte Kristoff überholen, aber am Ende war es wirklich sehr knapp. Danke an das ganze Team für die Unterstützung und das Lead-out heute.“ – Martin Laas

„Unser Ziel war Martin für den Sprint zu unterstützen. Wir haben alles investiert und wollten am Anfang keine große Gruppe weglassen. Letztendlich hat sich eine starke 5-Mann Gruppe vom Feld gelöst und konnte sich lange an der Spitze halten, aber wir haben dann zeitig mit Juraj angefangen nachzufahren. Das war eine sehr starke Teamleistung, und am Ende haben die Jungs den Sprint für Martin so gut wie möglich vorbereitet. Das war ein toller Sieg von ihm und wir sind natürlich sehr zufrieden damit.“ – Enrico Poitschke, Sportlicher Leiter

Laas but not least

Estonia’s Martin Laas of Bora-Hansgrohe upset stage favourite Alexander Kristoff in a bunch gallop in Kilpisjärvi, Finland, but the second place enabled the Norwegian to move into the lead of the overall classification, equal on time with his compatriot Markus Hoelgaard who will face the opposition the climbers like Odd Christian Eiking, Warren Barguil and Ben Hermans in the queen stage to Målselv on Saturday.

Five riders in the lead
110 riders started stage 2 in Nordkjosnbotn, heading to Kilpisjärvi, Finland, for the first ever stage finish abroad. A group of five leaders was formed quickly after the flag off, including one Norwegian, Fredrik Dversenes (Team Coop), and no less than four Belgians, namely Oliver Naesen (AG2R-Citroën), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Fenix), Cedric Beulens (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Ceriel Desal (Bingoal Pauwels Sauce-WB). The peloton trailed by 3’ after 38km of racing. Pulling at the head of the pack, Uno-X, the team of race leader Markus Hoelgaard, made the sure the gap wouldn’t go over 3’30’’. Within 50km to go, the front group slimmed down as only Naesen, Janssens and Dversenes remained at the front with an advantage of two minutes that indicated a bunch gallop to finish with.

Hoelgaard tries his luck in the last intermediate sprint
While Janssens focused on the intermediate sprints, Dversenes gave it all for the mountain prizes and won the three KOM sprints, taking all 9 points up for grabs. He took over from Gleb Brussenskiy (Astana-Premier Tech) in the popular salmon jersey with an advantage of one point. Naesen was brought back by the pack before the intermediate sprint located right on the border between Norway and Finland. Hoelgaard tried to take the opportunity to extend his lead in the overall ranking but he was denied by Laurent Pichon (Arkea-Samsic), third behind Janssens and Dversenes. The Frenchman therefore indicated that his captain Warren Barguil takes the winner of stage 1 very seriously with regards to the final win.

Kristof beaten in a tight sprint finish
Janssens and Dversenes were reeled in with 2km to go. Israel-Start Up-Nation seized the reins of the peloton, having designated France’s Rudy Barbier as their sprinter for his top end speed rather than Rick Zabel. Kristoff got a nice lead out from the Norwegian national team, especially Sven-Erik Bystrøm and Andreas Leknessund, but Laas came out of the box very late as there was a slightly head wind to finish and it was the proper choice. With 6’’ bonus, Kristoff had enough to be on pair with Hoelgaard and take the lead on GC before the climbers’ affair on Saturday.

Arctic Race of Norway – Etappe 1

Tromsø – 143 Km

1 HOELGAARD Markus NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 03:11:29
2 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR NORWAY 00:02
3 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:02
4 SOTO GUIRAO Antonio Jesus ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:02
5 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:02
6 ANGULO SAMPEDRO Antonio ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:02
7 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:02
8 VENTURINI Clement FRA AG2R CITROEN TEAM 00:02
9 DE GENDT Aime BEL INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:02
10 EIKING Odd Christian NOR INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:02

Gesamt:
1 HOELGAARD Markus NOR UNO – X PRO CYCLING TEAM 03:11:19
2 KRISTOFF Alexander NOR NORWAY 00:06
3 COQUARD Bryan FRA B&B HOTELS P/B KTM 00:08
4 AASVOLD Kristian NOR TEAM COOP 00:09
5 BATTISTELLA Samuele ITA ASTANA – PREMIER TECH 00:10
6 SOTO GUIRAO Antonio Jesus ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:11
7 ANGULO SAMPEDRO Antonio ESP EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 00:12
8 BARGUIL Warren FRA TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC 00:12
9 VENTURINI Clement FRA AG2R CITROEN TEAM 00:12
10 DE GENDT Aime BEL INTERMARCHÉ – WANTY – GOBERT MATÉRIAUX 00:12

Markus Hoelgaard, the last man to have won a stage at the Arctic Race of Norway before the outbreak, is also the first to do so as the race returned in the cycling news. The Norwegian from Uno-X counter-attacked the climbers at the very end to solo to victory in the streets of Tromsø while top sprinters Alexander Kristroff and Bryan Coquard rounded out the podium of stage 1.
Four riders in the lead

111 riders took the start of stage 1 in the 8th Arctic Race of Norway in Tromsø. Gleb Brussenskiy (Astana- Premier Tech), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-Citroën) and Alex Colman (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) were the first riders to make a move. As the peloton let them go, they enjoyed an advantage of 4’10’’ after 15km of racing. Tor Andre Aase Vabø (Team Coop) caught up them after a solo chase but the peloton led by B&B Hotels-KTM maintained the gap below two minutes at half way into the race. Brussenskiy went by himself to grab KOM points at Katfjordeidet summit with 52km to go while attacks started to take place at the head of the pack. 30km before the end, the bunch was just 1’ adrift.

Barguil and Eiking show their ambitions

Gougeard dropped his breakaway companions and forged on despite a strong chase and lots of offensives at the head of the peloton. Bora-Hansgrohe, Intermarché-Wanty Gobert and Astana were the most active teams. They put an end to Gougeard’s odyssey with 11.8km remaining. In the second of three passages atop Holtevegen summit, Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) tested his legs, followed by Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) but it was Kristian Aasvold (Team Coop) who managed to go clear, firstly joined by Samuele Battistella (Astana) who’d still have some energy in the final sprint to become the best young rider. Barguil who said on the eve of the race that GC could be shaped on stage 1 went for it again in the last ascent to Holtevegen. Pre-race favourite Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) reacted, so did Giro d’Italia stage winner Victor Lafay (Cofidis).

Hoelgaard like in 2019

Hoelgaard counter-attacked after the three climbers gave an indication on who to await on the queen stage to Målselv on Saturday. Homeboy Andreas Leknessund, racing for the Norwegian national team, was close to bridge the gap with 2km to go but the final rush of the Uno-X rider prevented anybody from catching up with him, the same way he rode to victory two years ago on the conclusive stage in Narvik. It was a 1-2 for Norwegians as Kristoff, also racing for the Norwegian national team on this occasion, crossed the line two seconds later, before B&B Hotels-KTM’s Coquard. After the great show of the opening stage, the Arctic Race of Norway will head to a foreign country for the first time ever as stage 2 will finish in Kilpisjärvi, Finland.

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY 2021

Key points:
· Warren Barguil is eager for revenge after a near miss two years ago and recent Tour de France withdrawal.

· 11 Tour de France teams out of 19 on the start line.
Alexander Kristoff and Edvald Boasson Hagen to pass the baton to the new generation of Norwegian talents.

A dedicated fisherman himself, Warren Barguil loves the atmosphere of the Arctic Race of Norway. He returned in 2019 to avenge himself for the misfortune of his crash the year before. He took the lead on top of Storheia but missed out on the overall victory by one second due to a split at the eleventh hour on the final stage in Narvik. In June this year, he questioned about the course of the northernmost bike race with the idea of finally being crowned in a competition that is close to his heart.
The queen stage to Målselv suits him but the former French champion and King of of the Mountains in the 2017 Tour de France won’t be the only favourite of the eighth edition of the ARN. 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).
Besides Kristoff, Edvald Boasson Hagen is the other Norwegian hero in contention. He’s yet to impose himself at the Arctic Race of Norway. In his only participation so far, he came second to Kristoff in Harstad in 2015. Both will assess the level of their succession as the country has plenty of young riders likely to take over. Andreas Leknessund, 22, will make his debut along with Kristoff but he knows the event for having had a first taste in 2017 with the Heroes of Tomorrow’s organised by Equinor… in Tromsø, his hometown! Søren Wærenskjold, 21, second in the Norwegian championship for ITT, has a lot of power in store to combine forces with Hoelgaard and Torstein Træen who finished fifth in the Tour d’Alsace in France last week. Erik Lunder, 22, recently won the Dookola Mazowsza overall in Poland for Team Coop while his team-mate Tord Gudmestad, 20, took two stages after he became the u23 Norwegian champion for road racing.
Since 2013, the Arctic Race of Norway is a springboard for future champions.

2021 ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY: in Finland and in the footsteps of Van der Poel

ARN21_1generik_v13

Key points:

Ø The 8th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will be held on 5–8 August 2021.
Ø For the first time, the world’s northernmost race will venture outside Norway, with the finish to stage two taking place in the town of Kilpisjärvi in Finland.
Ø The first two days will offer the sprinters the opportunity to show their prowess. The general classification will then be decided over the course of the weekend stages, with a summit finish in Målselv on Saturday and a climb to the line in Harstad on Sunday.

The Arctic Race of Norway is an event that people have deeply missed in 2020. Breath-taking landscapes lovers as much as cycling experts have a special feeling for the northernmost bike race. Since 2013, sprint finishes – made popular in Scandinavia by Thor Hushovd who won the inaugural edition and has been the race ambassador all along – as well as punchy and hilltop finales have delighted the fans by delivering unpredictable racing. In seven editions, Alexander Kristoff, Steven Kruijswijk, Sam Bennett, Silvan Dillier, Rein Taarämae, Danny van Poppel, Gianni Moscon, John Degenkolb, Dylan Teuns, Mathieu van der Poel, Bryan Coquard and Alexey Lutsenko have made the most of their respective skills. Some of them have come of age at the Arctic Race of Norway before going on for further conquests. Suspense often remains until the dying moments. Two years ago, the general classification was still unclear as the first riders crossed the finish line on the conclusive stage. Ultimately, Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko won the overall by a second, ahead of French national champion Warren Barguil. Elsewhere, if the general public didn’t know yet what cyclo-cross prodigy Mathieu van der Poel was able to achieve in road racing, the images of the Arctic Race of Norway broadcast worldwide announced in 2018 and 2019 what was going to spice up the first week of the 2021 Tour de France.

Van der Poel’s first of three stage victories took place in Kirkenes, near Russia. For the first time in its eight editions, the Arctic Race of Norway will cross a border to held stage 2 finish in Finland. For the first time also, the event will start in Tromsø, Northern Norway’s most iconic city and the finishing point for the 2014 and 2017 editions. The first stage, on Thursday 5 August, will take the riders to the east to complete a loop before leading back to the city. The riders will then perform three laps of an 8.6 km circuit. A categorised climb (1.2 km at 8%) with 2.5 km to go will stretch the peloton out before it reaches the finish line, where the victorious rider will write his name into the history books alongside those of Alexander Kristoff and Dylan Teuns, the two previous winners in Tromsø.

On the second day of racing, the Arctic Race will visit Nordkjosbotn for the first time. On a day of firsts, the riders will then make the Arctic Race’s inaugural foray outside Norway, with the last 12 km taking place in Finland. Earlier in the stage, the riders will skirt the Storfjord before entering a valley that steadily climbs to 500 m of altitude at Kilpisjärvi. Despite four categorised climbs, this 177,6 km stage should be one for the sprinters unless the wind enables splits in the peloton.
The third day will have an air of déjà vu about it. Running from Finnsnes to Målselv, the 184.5 km route scheduled for stage three is almost identical to the one undertaken on 15 August 2015, during the third edition of the race. The only difference is that the peloton will ride the first loop on the island of Senja in the opposite direction to four years ago, when Belgium’s Ben Hermans emerged victorious. In 2021, this queen stage will offer five opportunities for the riders to collect climbing points, including the final ascent to a summit finish at the ski resort of Målselv (3.7 km at 7.8%). The battle for general classification places should play out on the climbs leading to the “Alpine Village”.
While the public may see the final stage of the Tour de France as nothing more than a stroll in the park for its participants, the same cannot be said for the Arctic Race. The fourth stage, 163,3 km of racing between Gratangen and Harstad, is tailor-made for the puncheurs. Gratangen will welcome the race for the first time. Taking place against a stunning backdrop of fjords, the first part of the final stage will see the riders scale three categorised climbs. The race will then conclude with an 8.4 km circuit in Harstad, which was also the setting for the climax to the very first edition of the race, won by local favourite Thor Hushovd. Fellow countryman Alexander Kristoff would also go on to win the first stage there in 2015. The 2021 winner will have to successfully negotiate three climbs up the hill of Novkollen (2 km at 5,5%), before proving his strength on a final ramp to the finish line.

Route of the 2021 Arctic Race of Norway:

Ø Thursday 5th August, stage 1: Tromsø – Tromsø, 142,4km
Ø Friday 6th August, stage 2: Nordkjosbotn – Storfjord / Kilpisjärvi, 177,6km
Ø Saturday 7th August, stage 3: Finnsnes – Målselv (Alpine Village), 184,5km
Ø Sunday 8th August, stage 4: Gratangen – Harstad, 163,3km

ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY 2021: TEAM SELECTIONS, SEVEN UCI WORLDTEAMS TO START

Key points:

· The 8th edition of the northermost bicycle race in the world will be held from 5 to 8 August.
· A total of 18 UCI WorldTeams (7) and UCI ProTeams (9) have been selected, see the details below.
· For the first time, the Arctic Race of Norway will venture outside Norway, with the finish to stage two taking place in the town of Kilpisjärvi in Finland.

· The first two days will offer the sprinters the opportunity to show their prowess. The general classification will then be decided over the course of the weekend stages, with a summit finish in Målselv on Saturday and a climb to the line in Harstad on Sunday.

The victory of the Arctic Race of Norway promises to be a hard-fought one, with 11 teams present at the Tour de France: AG2R Citroën Team, Astana-Premier Tech, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, Israel Start-Up Nation, Team Qhubeka Assos, Alpecin-Fenix, B&B Hotels p/b KTM, Team Arkea-Samsic and Total Energies.
But also outsiders ready to create a surprise: Bingoal Pauwels Sauce WB, Burgos-BH, Delko, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Sport Vlaanderen Baloise.
Not forgetting the two Norwegian teams Uno-X Pro Cycling Team and Team Coop who will be keen to perform on their home territory.
@ASO

2020 ARCTIC RACE OF NORWAY: the race heads to Finland for the first time

ARN20_generik_v3
Key points:
 The 8th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will be held on 6–9 August 2020.
 For the first time, the world’s northernmost race will venture outside Norway, with the finish to stage two taking place in the town of Kilpisjärvi in Finland.
 The first two days will offer the sprinters the opportunity to show their prowess. The general classification will then be decided over the course of the weekend stages, with a summit finish in Målselv on Saturday and a climb to the line in Harstad on Sunday.

Every year, the Arctic Race of Norway delights cycling fans by delivering unpredictable racing that often maintains the suspense until the dying moments. Last year, the general classification was still up for grabs as the first riders crossed the finish line on the final stage. Ultimately, Kazakh rider Alexey Lutsenko (Team Astana) won the seventh edition of the Arctic Race by a second, ahead of French national champion Warren Barguil (Team Arkéa-Samsic). Elsewhere, Dutch puncheur-sprinter Mathieu Van Der Poel (Corendon-Circus), riding in preparation for the World Championships in Yorkshire, won his third stage in two years. Should he choose to return next year, the Dutchman is sure to find the 2020 route through the region of Troms to his liking once more.

For the first time in its eight editions, the Arctic Race of Norway will start in Tromsø, Northern Norway’s most iconic city and the finishing point for the 2014 and 2017 editions. The first stage, on Thursday 6 August, will take the riders southwards to complete a loop before leading back to the city. Before reaching the final circuit, the peloton will pass Ishavskatedralen (the Arctic Cathedral) before crossing from mainland to island via the Tromsø Bridge. The riders will then perform two laps of an 8.5 km circuit. A categorised climb (1.2 km at 8%) with 2.5 km to go will stretch the peloton out before it reaches the finish line, where the victorious rider will write his name into the history books alongside those of Alexander Kristoff and Dylan Teuns, the two previous winners in Tromsø.

On the second day of racing, the Arctic Race will visit Nordkjosbotn for the first time. On a day of firsts, the riders will then make the Arctic Race’s inaugural foray outside Norway, with the last 12 km taking place in Finland. Earlier in the stage, the riders will skirt the Storfjord before entering a valley that steadily climbs to 500 m of altitude at Kilpisjärvi. Despite four categorised climbs, this 172 km stage should be one for the sprinters.

The third day will have an air of déjà vu about it. Running from Finnsnes to Målselv, the 184.5 km route scheduled for stage three is almost identical to the one undertaken on 15 August 2015, during the third edition of the race. The only difference is that the peloton will ride the first loop on the island of Senja in the opposite direction to four years ago, when Belgium’s Ben Hermans emerged victorious. In 2020, this queen stage will offer five opportunities for the riders to collect climbing points, including the final ascent to a summit finish at the ski resort of Målselv (3.7 km at 7.8%). The battle for general classification places should play out on the climbs leading to the “Alpine Village”.

While the public may see the final stage of the Tour de France as nothing more than a stroll in the park for its participants, the same cannot be said for the Arctic Race. The fourth stage, 161 km of racing between Gratangen and Harstad, is tailor-made for the puncheurs. Gratangen will welcome the race for the first time. Taking place against a stunning backdrop of fjords, the first part of the final stage will see the riders scale three categorised climbs. The race will then conclude with an 8.5 km circuit in Harstad, which was also the setting for the climax to the very first edition of the race, won by local favourite Thor Hushovd. Fellow countryman Alexander Kristoff would also go on to win the first stage there in 2015. The 2020 winner will have to successfully negotiate two climbs up the hill of Novkollen (1.4 km at 6%), before proving his strength on a final ramp to the finish line (700 m at 8.5%).

Route of the 2020 Arctic Race of Norway:
 Thursday 6th August, stage 1: Tromsø – Tromsø, 166km
 Friday 7th August, stage 2: Nordkjosbotn – Storfjord / Kilpisjärvi, 172km
 Saturday 8th August, stage 3: Finnsnes – Målselv, 184,5km
 Sunday 9th August, stage 4: Gratangen – Harstad, 161km

The Arctic Race of Norway shines the spotlight on the stars of tomorrow
In 2020, the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race junior competition will again give 120 talented young riders from Norway and another five countries the opportunity to race on the same course as the pro cyclists. Backed by Equinor, the major sponsor of the ARN, as well as the Norwegian Cycling Federation, it has grown to become one of the major fixtures on the junior calendar. Kristoffer Halvorsen, the winner of the first edition of the Arctic Heroes of Tomorrow Race, held in Harstad in 2013, became U23 world champion in 2016 and went on to join Ineos two years later.

Thor Hushovd, world champion and event ambassador: „The eighth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will again be a spectacular race that goes down to the wire. I am delighted to go back to Harstad, where I won the general classification in the inaugural edition. The 2020 edition also has new things in store, including a stage finish in Kilpisjärvi, Finland. Both this stage and the previous one in Tromsø are tailored to sprinters, but punchy climbers will take centre stage from then on. If one thing is certain, it is that our landscapes will again leave riders and TV viewers filled with awe.“
@ASO

Arctic Race of Norway Stage 4: A thrilling finish crowns Lutsenko

Narvik (Norway), Sunday 18th August – Norwegian riders made a 1-2 in the conclusive stage of the Arctic Race of Norway with Markus Hoelgaard and national champion Amund Grøndahl Jansen but the overall victory went to Alexey Lutsenko who came third on the line in Narvik and beat Warren Barguil by only one second.

1 Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team 3:35:32
2 Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma
3 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:03
4 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:00:04
5 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
6 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie
7 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data
8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
9 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
10 Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
11 Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team 0:00:09
12 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 0:00:12
13 Dmitrii Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:20
14 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Gobert
15 Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise

GC final:
1 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 14:59:27
2 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:00:01
3 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy 0:00:19
4 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Total Direct Energie 0:00:23
5 Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro Team 0:00:40
6 Sindre Skjøstad Lunke (Nor) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team 0:00:42
7 Markus Hoelgaard (Nor) Uno-X Norwegian Development Team 0:00:43
8 Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:51
9 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Dimension Data 0:00:53
10 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 0:01:12
11 Floris De Tier (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:15
12 Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles 0:01:20
13 Lucas Eriksson (Swe) Riwal Readynez Cycling Team
14 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty-Gobert 0:01:23
15 Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:01:47
16 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:59