After a hot Tour de Pologne, the “orange squad” is approaching another stage race, this time more chilly, Arctic Race of Norway (2.HC, 10-13 August).
The Norwegian event is the world’s northernmost bicycle race according to the organizers. The route goes through interesting, undulating terrain, surrounded by beautiful fjords. Even though there are no high mountains, it won’t be a race for the pure sprinters.
It will be hard from the get-go as a matter of fact, as stage 1 from Engenes to Narvik will give us first clue who will be in the contention for the overall win. The peloton should split on two cat. 1 climbs – the last one(2,3 km at 6.6%) is located just 5 kilometers from the finish and should do the most damage.
In theory, stage 2 is the easiest of all and any other finale than a bunch sprint will be a surprise. The day later it will be completely different story, since final 5,2 kilometers are uphill, at 4,9% gradient. The race will be wrapped with 5 laps around Tromso, which feature 1,2-kilometer hill (avg. 7,5%). That means exciting racing until the very end.
The “orange squad” will take on that course with 6-man lineup. Jonas Koch, who showcased last year that he can perform in Norway, finishing 4th overall in Tour des Fjords, will lead the squad alongside Simone Ponzi. Italian is one of the fastest riders on the team and can cope with shorter climbs. The roster will be rounded out by Jakub Kaczmarek, Michał Paluta, Leszek Pluciński and Nikolay Mihaylov. Everyone but Ponzi had a chance to race in Norway this year, by taking part in Tour des Fjords or Tour of Norway.
You can find all the information regarding this event on the race’s website. Live broadcast from every stage will be provided by Eurosport 1 or Eurosport 2.
Lineup of CCC Sprandi Polkowice for Arctic Race of Norway (2.HC, 10-13 sierpnia): Jonas Koch, Simone Ponzi, Jakub Kaczmarek, Leszek Pluciński, Michał Paluta, Nikolay Mihaylov
Arctic Race of Norway:
10 August, Stage 1 – Engenes (Andørja) – Narvik (156,5km)
11 August, Stage 2 – Sjøvegan – Bardufoss (184,5km)
12 August, Stage 3 – Lyngseidet – Finnvikdalen (Tromsø)(185,5km)
13 August, Stage 4 – Tromsø – Tromsø (160,5km)