The route of the 4th Arctic Race of Norway, which will be held from August 11th to 14th, was released this morning in Oslo.

After traveling through the paradise islands of Lofoten and Versterålen in 2013, then leading the peloton all the way to the North Cape in 2014 before continuing its exploration of the hidden treasures beyond the Arctic Circle in 2015, the Arctic Race of Norway will play with the Arctic Circle with 2 stages below and 2 stages above its line drawn at 66°33′46.0″ north of the Equator, including a start at its exact location. It will offer varied scenarios, where sprinters, but also punchers and even climbers will delight the Norwegian spectators enthusiastic as ever about the idea of welcoming some of the best cyclists in the world.

Discovering the Seven Sisters

The 2016 Arctic Race of Norway will start in Fauske on Thursday August 11 with this year’s most northern stage. After crossing the Straight of Saltstraumen, known for its tidal currents that are among the most powerful in the world, which create the famous “maelstroms” dear to Norse mythology, sprinters and punchers will battle for the victory in Rognan. The following day, after crossing the Arctic Circle during the transfer, the riders will have to cope with the risks of side winds before the finish at Sandnessjøen, at the foot of the “Sju søstre”; seven aligned peaks, which are among the most beautiful and most famous in Norway.

The Korgfellet as the decider

Stage 3 will without a doubt be the highlight-stage of 2016. The general classification will be up for grabs on this 160km stage, with the start given at Nesna, in the heart of the fjords, before two runs through the Mo I Rana, the main industrial zone of the northern region of the country. The stage victory will be decided on the Korgfjellet (8.9 km at 6.3%), with an arrival that is already part of the race’s history because no other stage of the Arctic Race of Norway has ever finished such an altitude.

A start from the Arctic Circle before the big outcome

The start of the final stage of this 4th edition will be given on the exact location of the Arctic Circle, before the peloton heads towards the north to Bodø, using then the same roads that will be used in the 2016 Norwegian Championships and on a route similar to the first stage of the maiden edition of the race. The arrival at Bodø will rekindle memories of 2013 when the town was the host of an exceptional sprint finish. The rider in the leader’s blue and orange jersey at the start of the stage will most certainly have to fend of the attacks of his rivals in the final circuit before perhaps joining past win ners Thor Hushovd (2013) Steven Kruijswijk (2014) and Rein Taaramäe (2015) in the record books.

Thor Hushovd, winner of the first edition of Arctic Race of Norway, and race ambassador : “This 4th edition of the Arctic Race of Norway promises to be balanced and exciting. All types of riders will have good opportunities, with at least two sprint finishes and stage 3 as Queen Stage.

I can hardly tell which rider is going to be the race leader at the end of every stage and I am curious to see to what extent can the likes of Alexander Kristoff be fighting for the overall victory”

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