Norway gets its own international road cycling competition in August 2013 with the Arctic Race of Norway. From 8 to 11 August, visitors to Northern Norway can watch international and Norwegian riders test their endurance and courage over four stages of winding and mountainous roads. This new course is ranked 2.1 by UCI Continental Circuits.
The event organisers are the Amaury Sports Organisation which also manages famous races such as Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and the Paris Dakar Rally. Taking place just a few weeks after the Tour de France, the Arctic Race of Norway starts in Bodø and finishes after 705 kilometers and four days in Harstad. Although this is its first year the competition has already sold TV rights to over 100 countries.
The four stages are:
Stage 1: Bodø–Fauske–Saltstraumen–Bodø (192.5 kilometers) 8 August
Stage 2: Svolvær–Stamsund–Svolvær (156.5 kilometers) 9 August
Stage 3: Svolvær–Sortland–Stokmarknes (201.5 kilometers) 10 August
Stage 4: Sortland–Harstad (155 kilometers) 11 August
The natural beauty of the Lofoten Islands and the possibility to stage a competition in such spectacular scenery proved to be a strong selling point to the international competition organisers. With extensive TV coverage, The Arctic Race of Norway is expected to build a reputation over time as a challenging course in a country which has until now not had its own international road racing fixture.
The popularity of road cycling in Norway has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. The Arctic Race of Norway is not just for riders. Spectators and visitors now have the chance to enjoy the excitement of watching a major race as well as experiencing the majesty of Lofoten's coastline. For travelers to this region arriving in July, the midnight sun can be experienced until 8 July in Bodø and until 18 July in Harstad.
Watching the startline of the Arctic Race of Norway in Bodø
The startline of the Arctic Race is located at Bodø.
Recommended places to stay in Bodø
Bodø offers a variety of accommodation options, from centrally located full service hotels to self catering cabins and camping.
Read more about accommodation in Bodø.
Getting to Bodø and around
Bodø is well served by planes, trains and boats. It is also connected to the E6 the main road through Norway.
More information about how to get to Bodø and around.
The Arctic Race of Norway in Svolvær and Stokmarknes
This is where Stages 2 and 3 of the Arctic Race of Norway will be held on the 9 and 10 of August. Svolvær is the main urban center in Lofoten, and is the start point and end point for day two of the Arctic Race. Stokmarknes is a small town situated on the island of Hadseløya in Vesterålen.
Getting to Svolvær and around
The Lofoten Islands can be reached by plane from Bodø Airport. By boat is also a popular way of experiencing one of Norway's most outstanding areas of natural beauty.
Read more about how to get to the Lofoten Islands and around.
Recommended places to stay in Svolvær
Visitors can choose between self catering in a restored fisherman's cabin, or a modern hotel with bars and its own restaurant.
Read more about accommodation in the Lofoten Islands.
Getting to Stokmarknes and around
Stokmarknes has its own airport, and Hurtigruten (the Norwegian Coastal Voyage) stops here daily. You can also travel by bus or car.
Read more about how to get to Vesterålen and around.
Recommended places to stay in Stokmarknes
In Stokmarknes there is a large congress center with both rooms and cabins for rent.
Read more about accommodation in Vesterålen.
The finishing line of the Arctic Race of Norway in Harstad
The location for Stage 4 of the Arctic Race of Norway and the finishing line on 11 August is Harstad. This small town lies on Norway's biggest island, Hinnøya.
Getting to Harstad and around
Harstad is accessible by plane, train, boat and car, and travelers can also use Harstad as a base for further exploration of Northern Norway.
Read more about how to get to Harstad and around.
Recommended places to stay in Harstad
Harstad offers two modern hotels in the harbour area. There is also a camping site, a youth hostel and several bed and breakfast options.
Read more about accommodation in Harstad.
Read more about cycling in Norway.
For more information on Norway, please see facts about Norway.
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