Artic Race part three: Discovering hidden treasures of the North
In 2013, the Arctic Race became the first professional road cycling race to be held above the Arctic Circle. After having wound through the Norwegian fjords around the idyllic islands of Lofoten and Vesterålen in 2013, and having led the pack to the North Cape in 2014, the Arctic Race of Norway 2015 continues its exploration beyond the Arctic Circle to discover the hidden treasures of the north.
Running from Thursday August 13 to Sunday August 16, the third edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will cover a total distance of 434 miles in four stages across Northern Norway.
Last year’s race was a great success with over 150,000 spectators, and there is every reason to believe that this number will be succeeded this year. Extensive media coverage and a vivid presence in social media – Arctic Race’s Facebook page has almost 40,500 likes – suggest that everything is in place for a cycling fever to grip Norway.
The popularity of road cycling in Norway has grown dramatically in the last 20 years, and thus the Arctic Race of Norway is not just for cyclists. Spectators and visitors now have the chance to enjoy the excitement of watching a major race, as well as experiencing the great wilderness and bustling cities of Northern Norway.
The race is organised by Amaury Sports, the French organisation behind Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and the Dakar Rally.
Four new stages in stunning surroundings
The route’s four stages have been chosen to display some of Norway’s most awe-inspiring and diverse nature. TV-viewers, spectators and cyclists will marvel at the contrasts along the way - from rocky mountains lining the coastline to the stark beauty of vast open plains and snow-capped peaks in the background.
- Stage 1 (13 August): Harstad – Harstad (130 miles)
- Stage 2 (14 August): Evenskjer – Setermoen (96 miles)
- Stage 3 (15 August): Senja (Finnsnes) – Målselv (108 miles)
- Stage 4 (16 August): Narvik – Narvik (100 miles)
Stage 1: Harstad – Harstad
The race starts in the town of Harstad, which enjoys a beautiful and strategic location on Norway's largest island Hinnøya in the county of Troms. In Harstad and its surrounding area you will find a rich array of culture and nature-based experiences. The area surrounding Harstad is exciting, with Kvæfjord's world famous strawberries and the Viking island of Bjarkøy with 523 islets and rocks. Visitors who arrive before July 18 can do all of the above with the added bonus of the midnight sun.
Visit Harstad’s website for information about accommodation and travel info.
Stage 2: Evenskjer – Setermoen
The starting point for stage 2 is Evenskjer in the municipality of Skånland, where the nature is grand, from inland wild mountains to coastal landscapes. Here are rich natural resources with sea fishing from land or boat, or inland fishing in rivers and lakes. The riders will then head inland and cross trough a military base 1.8 miles from the finish in Setermoen. The stage could be won by talented sprinters such as Marcel Kittel or Alexander Kristoff, both present in last year's Arctic Race.
Stage 3: Senja (Finnsnes) – Målselv
The third stage will undoubtedly be the climax of the race. It starts with a 62 mile loop on the Senja island, a genuine gem of Northern Norway. The finish stage is demanding, with a tough climb up to the mountain resort of Målselv - 2 miles at a gradient of six percent. Along the route the riders and spectators can appreciate the beauty of mountains and fjords, long beaches of fine sand and fishing villages.
Senja National Tourist Route is a 55-mile-long stretch of road between Gryllefjord and Botnhamn. In addition, the official route includes detours to Mefjordvær and Husøya, for an additional 12 kilometres of road. The roads are ideal for cycling. You will experience many great viewpoints, and with ferry and express boat you can cycle from island to island.
Search for accomodation and find out how to get to Central Troms.
Stage 4: Narvik – Narvik
The peleton will return to the Nordland region on the last day, on a stage full of hazards around Narvik. The port of Narvik was made famous after a major Second World War battle in 1940. The bearer of the blue and orange leader's jersey will have his work cut out for him when it comes to keeping his rivals at bay, as they can take advantage of a particularly lethal last eleven kilometres containing a 1.5 mile slope at a gradient of six percent to be climbed four times.
Narvik is a lively place that tempts you with wild, dramatic and beautiful Arctic experiences. A cable car takes you up to the view point on Narvikfjellet mountain, from where you can enjoy scenic views over the Ofotfjord.
Only an hour away from Narvik by car, you'll find Norway's national mountain Stetind, a natural obelisk towering 4530 feet straight up from the fjord. The journey from Narvik to Stetind is a fantastic way to experience Ofoten and enjoy the unique landscape and tranquil surroundings.
Search for accommodation and find out how to get to Narvik.
Suitable images can be found here
Cycling in Norway
More about the Arctic Race of Norway