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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: t-72 on May 24, 2022, 10:35

Title: Tour of Norway 2022
Post by: t-72 on May 24, 2022, 10:35
Tour of Norway starts today - quickie preview here in text-only as written during lunch break at work.

This year, the race features more climbing and better climbers and more stages than ever before.

And more rain and more wind than the Arctic race.  :onfire2   :=B  :sick get ready for Vestlandsvær  :mood


First stage goes Bergen-Voss, 174 km. This is almost the same course as the regional classic mass-participation event: the Bergen-Voss race, with a different start (a transport section anyway, but missing some spectacular fjordside roads with dubious reputation on safety). The finale has also been changed, extended with a lap around the Vangsvatnet lake at Voss and then an uphill finish at the ski area instead of the downhill finish into town which would probably have provided for a manslaughter case as a sprint finish at this level. (In the Bergen-Voss race, the stop the clock before the downhill and sprinting is expressibvely forbidden --> disqualification.) With these exceptions, I know this course very well as I have 3 participations and a few training rides on the part close to Bergen.

There are 4 climbs to consider:
Gulbotn, Kvamskogen, (+Øystese), Skjervet, and the final climb to the ski resort.  None of these will kill anyone in the peloton today.   

I think they are doing a shortened version of Gulbotn since they use the main road, and that is the hardest climb at some 10% for a few hundred meters before it eases of a little towards the top.

The Kvamskogen is simply not steep, even if it is the longest and highest climb, and if I love it that probably means the peloton will just smooth over it. The descent from Kvamskogen is difficult with lots of twisting tunnels, very risky for the peloton to race through it. (In the Bergen-Voss it is a neutralized section)

Out of Øystese there is a short steep hill which could serve as a launchpad for an attack, but probably too far from the finish to be decisive.
 
Skjervet is a longer climb, very pretty (huge waterfall occasionally showering the bridge), but not very steep. Would have been decisive if there was a direct to finish in Voss at the other side (Bergen-Voss style), but nope - will be ridden nicely by the peloton.

The chase will be on along the Vangsvatnet and the decision will come on the final climb to the Voss ski area today. Favorite is #ineos Ethan Hayter but watch out for #quickstep Remco Evenepoel and #unox Halland Johannesen and #unox Halland Johannesen. Should be an interesting finish.
Maybe some scenery between the clouds!
Title: Re: Tour of Norway 2022
Post by: t-72 on May 25, 2022, 07:34
Super short review of yesterday: just as expected, except #quickstep Evenepoel was able to fend off #unox Halland Johannesen (who was badly positioned at the start) in the finish line sprint.

Today, they will cross from Vestland to Østland across the Hardangervidda high-mountain plateau. It will be bitter cold with temperatures around 5 degrees and winds from the south. To get there, they have to climb the 1000 m or so up Måbødalen, and then persist on gentler slopes until the plateau itself, where crosswinds may tear them apart.

Despite the big climbs early on, a sprinter could actually take the honors in Geilo, because … possible crosswinds. (Disclaimer: I haven´t checked the final though, it could be a bit of uphill involved but basically in Voss they took a classic sprint finish stage and gave it to the climbers, this one I think is the other way round.)

Favorite is a bit of an outsider pick but: Aleksander Kristoff #intermarche ?
Title: Re: Tour of Norway 2022
Post by: Mellow Velo on May 25, 2022, 09:19
 I'm just catching up with yesterday's stage. Unfortunately, our coverage is blighted by Kirby. This has traditionally been one for Matt Stephens, who always seemed to be in constant awe of the scenery, whereas Kirby is in constant awe of himself.  :lol

Just popped in to comment of the fact that so far, coverage has been sans graphics and had an initial shortage of camera bikes.

Has the fuel crisis and rise in living costs turned Norway into a third world country virtually overnight?  :P :D
Title: Re: Tour of Norway 2022
Post by: Echoes on May 29, 2022, 15:45
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz5NwIlI2vY&t=448s

Deviation looks too benign to me for a relegation but up to debate. But seems that Remco immediately went to see Plapp and discuss to see if he was complaining. I think Remco was ready to accept relegation if that was the commissars' decision. Sportsmanship ! :cool


By the way, Remco Evenepoel really worked hard on his sprint. That was a liability as a junior.