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Re: Arctic Race of Norway
« on: August 14, 2019, 21:44 »

Any chance of the wind blowing the peloton to pieces again?

Last year's stage from Tana to Nordkyn along the Nordkyn Peninsula in Finnmark passed through long sections of landscape with nowhere to hide from the wind. The whole race was in many ways set up to be decided by the wind, but the few short climbs were actually quite decisive, allowing #astana to drop #corendon van der Poel on the way up to the exposed plateau terrain. It was an absolute thriller of a stage, perhaps the best GC-stage in the Arctic Race history.

However, our Arctic is Big Country, the distances are bound to deceive you.
The Nordkyn Peninsula is as far from the Lofoten start this year as (hold on) 666 kilometers. That is the equivalent of a length of a line drawn from Kortrijk in Belgium via Valenciennes in France (the Paris-Roubaix terrain) via Reims and Chalon - sur - Champagne (sweet smell of bubbly drinks and Tour de France sprint stage finishes) across the Vosges mountains to Colmar, and from Colmar straight south into the Swiss Alps to the Grimselpass - Furkapass area where this year's Tour de Suisse was finally decided.

There's room for plenty of varied landscape between Kortrijk and the Grimselpass and there's pleny of variation between Nordkyn and Lofoten as well. The racing in Lofoten will be quite different from the Arctic Plains (Vidda) of Finnmark. There are no 3000 meter peaks in the Arctic but the terrain in Lofoten is like the peaks of the Alps drowning in water.

The islands (and especially Lofoten) are Alpine terrain with really steep peaks (but there are no roads up them :( ), and the wind will bend around mountains and along valleys with more the headwind or tailwind (because roads also tend to follow valleys) rather than crosswinds. There will be sections of exposed coastline, but the road twists and turns a lot and there will not be the miles and miles of crosswinds with no change in wind direction and no change of road direction either, nothing like the Quatar-esque scenes that we saw last year.

Adding to that - the forecast for tomorrow: 12 degrees (Celsius) , some very light rain and light winds from the west. Coastal weather without the drama. I think it looks like a sprint finish!

Finish line is scheduled for 17:45 - 18:15. For watching slow TV, the first hour or so the race crosses the Moskenesøy, perhaps the most spectacular island in Lofoten and where the photo above was taken from. I just don't expect it to be very exciting racing unless you cheer for the breakaway!  :)   
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