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Re: Arctic Race of Norway
« on: August 18, 2018, 22:11 »
Ok, time for a preview of the final stage:

Stage 4 Kvalsund – Alta, 145.5 km (Sunday 19/08/2018)

While all the other stages have been long ones, here comes a short, intense stage for the final day of the 2018 Arctic Race. From Hammerfest they will move back a few 10's of kilometers to Kvalsund.  The stage will start with a longish false flattish climb along the Repparfjordselva ("elva" = river). They will go backwards the same way they came yesterday to Skaidi (riversmeet) and from there they will take a soutwesterly course along the river, climbing slowly up to the Sennalandet plateu, descend to Rafsbotn and race into Alta, where (once again) some local laps which are technical, twisty and hilly awaits the peloton.

Note: Sennalandet is flatter than it looks in this profile :)

There are two sections of this course that can split the peloton: Sennalandet and the local laps in Alta. The weather forecast is for a quite horrible day with rain and galeforce winds. This is supposed to be the same rain that fell here in Bergen today - in which case it is a lot of water, but to the east of the Lyngen Alps the Southwesterlies are often not so bad (the area immediately east of Lyngen is one of Norway's driest places, and Alta isn't that far away from there.) Anyway, it can become a fould weather stage like we haven't seen in Norway since Tour des Fjords 2016.
Winds are predicted to come from the WNW and the race course for the most part heads SSW so this will be exactly..crosswinds. And rain!

The race is now #astana Astana's too lose. They have been doing well on the 2 previous crosswind stages but #bmc BMC will challenge them once more. The more unknown factors (compared to Astana) is #rally and #joker - can any of these "small teams" break Astana in the crosswinds? It would be sensation, but it really feels unlikely. However, my impression is that Astana are stronger in the climbs than on the flat, and Chernetski has been riding on the limit in the crosswinds a few days already, and looks really tired at times. However, he has a GC victory in the Tour des Fjords already so he should be relatively comfortable riding in the rain. #joker Hoelgaard doesn't have a Tour des Fjords victory, but he has grown up cycling west Norway, so he'll probably excel in this weather. #rally Colyn Joyce comes from Oregon and shouldn't be a stranger to wet conditions either.

If Astana can put Chernetski into Alta in the same group as the other GC riders, Chernetski should be able to defend his lead as long as he doesn't fall or get into technical trouble. He is better than Hoelgaard in the twisty sections. However, the best riders in this kind of Arctic finishes wear #corendon Corendon-Circus shirts.

For the stage win..
*** #corendon Mathieu van der Poel
** any other #corendon rider
* nameless GC guy   
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  • « Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 08:34 by t-72, Reason: typos »


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