If the idea of the Etape leaves you a little cold and you fancy a different type of challenge ride… well If this lives up to the pictures, it appears to be a fantastic opportunity to get over to Norway for what is (so I have been told) a great week-long event.
Billed as “an informal chance for amateurs to try a real stage race. Only, this time the hairpin roads come right out the Atlantic ocean and rise into the peaky skies of western Norway.” sounds like fun? if so, read on…
One of the worlds most beautiful cycling races was arranged for the first time through the fjordland of western Norway this summer. It’s either a non-timed challenge style ride or racing for “grim death” experience (their words not ours!). Previous participants speak of the ride of their lives. Essentially it’s a six day amateur stage race. Open to all: Enthusiasts, touring cyclists and those seeking to compete with former TdF-riders. They would especially like to mention the “Women’s” and “Touring” classes which are both non-timed and new for 2006 on previous participants`requests.
Fast or slow, you decide
Only sections of each stage are being timed and many enthusiasts also ride all the way in non-timed classes. This creates a great athmospere that can only be improved by having even more nationalities with us. It takes in Geiranger, Trollstigen, Jotunheimen, Peak Road, Sognefjorden, Vikafjell, Eagles Road, Dalsnibba… A total of 600 km and 11000 m accumulated ascent from Aurland (Sogn og Fjordane) to Åndalsnes (Møre og Romsdal).
The organisers will (and this is the good bit) therefore refund NOK 1000 – to the first three participants living in the U.K. or Ireland and signing up for 2006. The transfer will take place immediately after sign-up. (please note: that this may have already happened before this story went live, so obviously this promise is NOT the responsibility of RCUK or Magicalia Ltd. – ed)
23rd July: Aurland – Prologue.
24th July: All new stage: Boatcruise on Nærøyfjorden. Gudvangen-Stalheimskleiva-Vikafjell- Fresvik. Boatcruise back to Aurland.
25th July: Aurland – Lærdal-Filefjell-Tyin-Øvre Årdal
26th July: Øvre Årdal – Tindevegen – Turtagrø -Fortun – Sognefjell – Lom
27th July: Lom – Skjåk – Strynefjell – Geiranger
28th July: Geiranger – Ørnevegen – Nordalsfjord – Trollstigen – Istra – Åndalsnes
The organisation transports your luggage, provides feeding stations, repair service, first aid and more… So you can focus on the beautiful mountain passes, the fjords, waterfalls, glaciers and lakes…
Accommodation is available each night in Aurland, Øvre Årdal, Lom, Geiranger and Åndalsnes.
Also you get to choose the low-priced simple accomodation with breakfasts and great atmopshere in the “Valhall Camps” (do I need to add horns to my helmet? – no jokes please – ed). Or rent rent rooms, cabins with team-mates, bring your own tent, camper van…There are 180 starting places left for 2006. We fancy it so hope to see you there!
July in Norway – stunning
Go as fast or as slow as you please
Snow on the hills in July!?