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arctic race of norway
 

Words and photography by Kåre Dehlie Thorstad

Only one year after it became the northernmost bike race in the world, the Arctic Race of Norway pushed the limits even further for the second edition, and sent the 117-rider strong peloton all the way up to the North Cape – the utmost end of Europe, with it’s symbolic monument built on a 300 meter high cliff overlooking the Arctic Ocean.

On the first stage from Hammerfest, Norwegian Lars-Petter Nordhaug claimed a convincing and historic victory at «Nordkapp», as he rode everybody off in windy conditions in the last three kilometers, capping off tremendous work from his Belkin team that placed three riders in the top 5. It was a unique venue for Nordhaug to claim his first victory for Belkin, almost two years after he won the World Tour GP Montreal for Team Sky.

“It’s been a really nice finale”, witnessed Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme who was delighted to discover the most northerly point of mainland Europe. “Landscapes here are wonderful. Luckily there was even a ray of sun at the end! The race delivered beautiful images and was very interesting.”

On the much awaited ascent to Kvænangsfjellet on stage 3, Simon Spilak of Team Katusha went on the attack and claimed a solid victory atop the windy climb. Only Belkin’s Steven Kruijswijk was able to follow his move, and the Dutch rider subsequently took over the race lead from his Norwegian team-mate Lars-Petter Nordhaug on the eve of the final stage.

Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, attended the conclusive stage of the Arctic Race of Norway in Tromsø, as well as thousands of fans who cheered for the national idol and former World Champion, Thor Hushovd, but his successor, Alexander Kristoff, deprived him of a much anticipated end-of-career win on home soil. The farewell was touching, though – with Hushovd being celebrated and honoured for his long and successful career at World Tour level.

By four seconds only, Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk of Belkin became the second winner of the northernmost international bike race that amazed the world again with the magical landscapes and atmosphere of northern Norway.

Results
01. KRUISWIJK Steven (Belkin Pro Cycling)
02. KRISTOFF Alexander (Team Katusha)
03. NORDHAUG Lars-Petter (Belkin Pro Cycling)
04. VILELLA David (Cannondale)
05. VOSS Paul (Team Netapp-Endura)
06. LEDANOIS Kevin (Bretagne – Seche Environment)
07. ELMIGER Martin (IAM Cycling)
08. VLIEGEN Loic (BMC Racing Team)
09. MOINARD Amaël (BMC Racing Team)
10. LEMARCHAND Romain (Confidis, Solutions Credits)

 

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Name: Kåre Dehlie Thorstad
Age: 43
Lives in: Brøttum, Norway
Profession: Freelance Photographer
Bikes: LOOK 595 Ultra, Ridley Helium, Argon 18 Gallium
Cameras: ”two Nikon D800. Lenses vary but I feel comfortable with a 85mm. I process my work on location with my 13” MacBook Pro and Adobe Lightroom.”
Best place cycle: Vaucluse (France) with the Mont Ventoux
Follow on Velonode: @zuperdehlie
www: zuper.no

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