2019 Arctic Race of Norway to feature 'Norwegian Ventoux'

The route for next year’s Arctic Race of Norway has been announced and will feature a new summit finish, which the organisers have dubbed the 'Norwegian Mont Ventoux'. The race will once again be four days and takes place from August 15-18.

Sergei Chernetskiy won the overall classification in this year’s race, beating home rider Markus Hoelgaard by 11 seconds.

The 2019 edition of the Arctic Race of Norway will start on the Lofoten Islands, with the town of Å – also known as Å i Lofoten – set to host the start of the opening stage. The unusual name is the final letter in the Norwegian alphabet and is also a nod to the fact that it is the last inhabited place on the extreme west side of the island.

Stage 1 is 182 kilometres and will bring the riders northwards before completing two laps of a finishing circuit. There will be four classified climbs along the route, but it is expected to be a bunch sprint finale.

Stage 2 moves the peloton a little further north again to the finishing village of Henningsvær, known for its football pitch with perhaps the most dramatic scenery. There will be no time to take a look as the pack continues its adventure towards Svolvær. The 168.5km route will take a circuitous path towards the finish line, with the potential wind the only real challenger on this day. On paper, this should be another chance for the sprinters in the pack.

For stage 3, the race moves from the Lofoten Islands, and north once again to the Vesterålen archipelago. The 176.5km route, which sets off from Sortland, should prove decisive in deciding the overall winner. The course heads north before taking an elongated turn back south towards Belbu and the Storheia summit finish. It is short at 3.5km but packs a punch with an average gradient of 11.8 per cent.

While this might pale in comparison to the Giant of Provence, its barren landscape have led the organisers to dub it the 'Norwegian Mont Ventoux'.

The bunch will head to the mainland for the final stage of the 2019 Arctic Race of Norway. The 166.5km offering brings the riders from L⌀dingen to Narvik. While Narvik has previously featured in the race back in 2017, L⌀dingen is a new inclusion. The route to Narvik is much the same as it was in 2017, with a total of six climbs littering the route.

Three of those ascents will be on the 10.5km finishing circuit where Dylan Teuns took stage victory to seal his overall success.

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