Thousands of fans had gathered in Tromsø to cheer for the nearly 100 participants in the race as they reached the finish line on Sunday. Last year’s champion Norway’s Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing Team) was deprived of a successful end of a career on home soil by Norway’s Alexander Kristoff, (Team Katusha), who won the fourth and final stage.
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. Alexander Kristoff came on second place in the overall race while Norway’s Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) came on third place.
“To win the Arctic Race of Norway is a very important step in my career”, commented Kruijswijk to the organizers’ web site. “I’ve had to deal with injuries in the past two years but coming back and winning is stepping stone in my career. I’ll bring great memories back at home, not only because of winning but also because it’s special to race so far north, including at the North Cape. The race was very well organized and the course suited me. A lot of riders were happy with the event.”
The second edition of the Arctic race of Norway was made up of 4 stages and covered a total distance of 708 kilometers. The first stage started from Hammerfest, Finnmark on Thursday and ventured 200 km to North Cape. The second stage began in Honningsvåg and ran 200 km to Alta. The third stage went from Alta to Kvænangsfjellet (132 km). The fourth and final stage began and ended in Tromsø.