Image credit: ARN/Thomas Maheux

Trøndelag is confirmed as a hosting county for the ninth edition of the Arctic Race of Norway with the last two stages to be contested on its soil with the grand finale in the city of Trondheim after the first two stages in Nordland. Mo i Rana will welcome the participants for the Grand Départ on August 11.

For the first time, the Arctic Race of Norway will entirely take place below the Arctic Circle after a first visit to Mo i Rana in 2016. That year, Italy’s Gianni Moscon took his first professional win atop Korgfjellet. The two ascents of the same climb will be tackled on Stage 1 this year but being located quite far away from the finish, it might not be as decisive as six years ago. The conclusive false flat finale (900 metres long) should favour a punchy sprinter on the 10.5km long circuit to be covered twice in Mo i Rana.

Pure sprinters will focus more on Stage 2 for the unprecedented finish in the coastal town of Brønnøysund. At the difference of the photographers, they might miss the unique view over Torghatten, the legendary rock with its distinctive hole but the images will once again showcase the natural beauty of Northern Norway. Starting town Mosjøen will lose its status of southernmost location on the map in the history of the ARN but will enjoy the atmosphere for the second time.

The climbers will take over on the way to Skallstuggu (alt. 475m), the summit designated for the ninth edition. It’s a 3.7km hill with an average gradient of 6% with a passage at 13%.

“It’s not a steady climb,” said Technical Director Yannick Talabardon. “1km of it is very hard. It’s a very nice uphill finish that will come after a lumpy second half of the stage, therefore the riders will be tired before climbing. However, there shouldn’t be too big differences ahead of the conclusive stage. The overall classification is likely to be turned upside down on the last day once again.”

The route of the last stage has been proposed by Trondheim’s cycling legend Atle Kvålsvoll who was fundamental as a domestique in securing Greg LeMond’s third overall victory in the 1990 Tour de France before mentoring Thor Hushovd and many other young Norwegian cyclists. The final 8km circuit to be covered four times features the Gamle Bybro (Old Town Bridge) that crosses the Nidelva River before tackling the Tyholt tower summit, a 1.4km climb at 8% with a maximum gradient of 17%.

With a larger population than the cities above the Arctic Circle, an even bigger crowd than usual is expected in Trondheim on August 14. The city has a special place in the mind of Norwegian cycling lovers as the country’s mythical cycling event Trondheim to Oslo has attracted more than 100.000 participants since its inception in 1967 over the distance of… 540 kilometres, way before the Arctic Race of Norway became the premier bike race it is now.

Former world champion and race ambassador Thor Hushovd gives his thoughts on this edition: “This very open course will give opportunities to all types of riders, and the race will certainly remain undecided until the finale in Trondheim. Even though the Arctic Race of Norway belongs to the north of Norway, we are proud to be able to export the race outside its usual borders for one edition. TV viewers from around the world will once again be amazed by the unique Norwegian scenery!”

The stages of the 2022 Arctic Race of Norway
Thursday 11 August, Stage 1: Mo i Rana – Mo i Rana (185 km)
Friday 12 August, Stage 2: Mosjøen – Brønnøysund (155 km)
Saturday 13 August, Stage 3: Namsos – Skallstuggu summit (180 km)
Sunday 14 August, Stage 4: Trondheim – Trondheim (160 km)