© A.S.O. / Gautier Demouveaux

The ninth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway is the first one that will be fully held below the Arctic Circle – but the heat of the competition will be as high as ever. Six UCI WorldTeams spearhead the team list with many different targets in sight. Israel-Premier Tech won’t enter defending champion Ben Hermans, yet fields a very strong squad of riders capable of delivering an outstanding result. After a resilient display on the Tour de France, Krists Neilands will try to improve his third place on the GC of the 2019 edition of this race while his teammate Patrick Bevin aims at netting his second UCI ProSeries stage race of the season after winning the Tour of Turkey in April. Along with these two leaders comes Norway’s Carl Fredrik Hagen, twice top10 finisher on the Arctic Race’s GC and the two recent stage winners on the Tour de France, Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle.

Hagen is not the sole local rider entering the Arctic Race of Norway with the ambition of triumphing in the overall classification, a feat that has not been replicated by a Norwegian rider since Thor Hushovd conquered the first edition of the event back in 2013. 22-year-old Tobias Halland Johannessen is one of the most exciting talents in the world of cycling after winning the 2021 Tour de l’Avenir and claiming the best young rider jersey on this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné. The uphill finish at Skallstuggu Summit, to be held on stage 3, should be the ideal hunting ground for Uno-X’s bright prospect. There he will face Andreas Leknessund, a cyclist who has already triumphed in Trondheim, host city of the lumpy final stage, as he claimed the ITT National Championship there as a junior five years ago. 7th on the final GC last year, Leknessund leads a well-rounded Team DSM squad on which Cees Bol will play for the sprint finishes expected in the two opening stages at Mo I Rana and Brønnøysund…

… As will do another renowned Norwegian rider, TotalEnergies’ Edvald Boasson Hagen, who is yet to win a stage in this race. The man to beat on this domain, though, is no one but Dylan Groenewegen. His team, BikeExchange-Jayco, is making its first appearance on the Arctic Race of Norway this very month of August, and is seemingly willing to do it in style. The Dutch rider will be supported by most of the train that led him out a stage of the Tour de France a few weeks ago in Sønderborg, and will try to keep his good vibe in Nordic roads while his teammate Amund Jansen enjoys racing in home soil and Australia’s Nick Schultz targets the GC.

Meant to upset the ambitions of the sprinters are powerhouses like Intermarché’s Quinten Hermans, who astounded the cycling world by landing a podium spot at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and intends to put his quality into display after missing the Tour de France. Rider who have already tasted victory on this event, Norway’s August Jensen, lead the charge from the USA’s Human Powered Health. Like Jensen, who were 2nd overall in 2017, Cofidis’ Victor Lafay has already podiumed on the GC as he was 3rd last year. One of the most celebrated additions to this Arctic Race’s team roster is China Glory Continental Cycling Team, who enters USA’s Sean Bennett as a designed leader and China’s Lyu Xianjingas a joker prepared to make waves in the Norwegian Sea.

The 19 teams of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway

Australia
Team BikeExchange-Jayco : Groenewegen (Ned), Jansen (Nor), Schultz (Aus)

Belgium
Alpecin-Deceuninck : Gogl (Aut), Sbaragli (Ita)
Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB : Livyns (Bel), L. Wirtgen (Lux)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux : Bystrom (Nor), Hermans (Bel), Van der Hoorn (Ned)
Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise : Marit, Reynders (Bel)

China
China Glory Continental Cycling Team: Bennett (USA), Lyu (Chn)

France
B&B Hotels-KTM : Mozzato (Ita), Koretzky (Fra)
Cofidis : Lafay, Pérez (Fra)
Team Arkea-Samsic : Vauquelin (Fra), Verre (Ita)
TotalEnergies : Boasson Hagen (Nor), Burgaudeau (Fra)

Great Britain
Team Trinity Racing : Gloag (Gbr), Porter (Aus)

Israel
Israel-Premier Tech: Bevin (Nzl), Hagen (Nor), Neilands (Lat), Clarke (Aus), Houle (Can)

Kazakhstan
Astana Qazaqstan Team : Conti, Gazzoli (Ita)

Netherlands
Team DSM : Leknessund (Nor), Bol (Ned), Donovan (Gbr)

Norway
Team Coop : Stokbro (Den), Aalrust (Nor)
Uno X-Pro Cycling Team : T. Johannessen, Andersen (Nor)

Spain
Burgos-BH: Raïm (Est), Orts (Spa)
Euskaltel-Euskadi: Aristi, Maté (Spa)

USA
Human Powered Health : Aasvold, Jensen (Nor)

For all the information about the Arctic Race of Norway, visit arctic-race.com