Tour des Fjords and Hammer Stavanger 2018 courses revealed
With the Bergen UCI Road World Championships in full swing, Tour des Fjords director Roy Hegreberg today unveils details for the next big cycling events on Norwegian soil: Tour des Fjords and Hammer Stavanger, a newcomer on Norway’s cycling calendar.
In 2018 the sixth Tour des Fjords features three stages across southern Norway, starting on Tuesday May 22 in Lindesnes and ending in Egersund on Thursday May 24. The new Hammer Series event in Sandnes and Stavanger (Friday May 25-Sunday May 27) will immediately follow Tour des Fjords.
Hammer is an innovative new format developed by Velon and international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media. Organised by Tour des Fjords AS under the Hammer Series brand, the Stavanger event forms part of a global race series. Co-operation with Velon secures the best UCI WorldTour teams to race Hammer Stavanger – an unprecedented high for pro cycling races in Norway.
Tour des Fjords
22 May – Stage 1 – Lindesnes > Egersund, 189km
The 2018 Tour des Fjords begins on the southernmost tip of Norway, Lindesnes, staying in the counties of Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder until the finish in the western coastal town of Egersund. A 189-kilometre undulating route leads from Lindesnes to the west and two local laps in Grimstad, home of two Norwegian cycling heroes. Dag Otto Lauritzen (1987 Tour de France stage winner, 1984 Olympic bronze medalist) and Thor Hushovd (x10 Tour de France stage winner, x2 TdF green jersey winner / 2010 World Champion) are both from the city.
23 May – Stage 2 – Risør > Kristiansand, 180km
Stage 2 starts in Risør and heads south over 180km to the port city of Kristiansand. The finale is contested on a local circuit where two laps up Gimlekollen will shake up the GC.
24 May – Stage 3 – Farsund > Egersund, 178km
The decisive 178km final stage takes the peloton from Farsund to Egersund in the county of Rogaland. This tough stage features multiple climbs along Norway’s west coast, offering a chance of overall victory to attacking riders. Whoever crosses the finish line first after two final local laps will most likely be successor to Edvald Boasson Hagen, overall winner in 2017.
Tour des Fjords event director Roy Hegreberg expects the new three-day format to make the race even more exciting: “To win you have to be at your best on all three days – it puts more riders in contention for victory,” Hegreberg said. “The stages get harder from day to day and excitement is guaranteed until the last kilometre.”
The second race organised by Tour des Fjords AS in 2018, Hammer Stavanger, is a revolutionary team-based format featuring three races on fan-friendly circuits.
25 May – Hammer Climb
Teams fight for points in the Hammer Climb: 10 laps of an 8.5km circuit between the Sandnes fan zone and the climb at Skaarlia (one kilometre, average seven per cent gradient).
26 May – Hammer Sprint
The Hammer Sprint – 10 laps of an action-packed 10km course through Stavanger and Eiganes – will see teams sprint for points each time they cross the finish line at the Stavanger Forum expo area.
27 May – Hammer Chase
The decisive Hammer Chase is a team pursuit: three laps from Stavanger Forum along Hafrsfjord and Gandsfjord. Starting positions are determined by the standings after two days, and the first team with four riders over the finish line will become the overall winner of Hammer Stavanger. At the inaugural Hammer Series event in June at Sportzone Limburg, Team Sky triumphed in a thrilling final-straight sprint against Team Sunweb.
Hammer Series brings bike racing closer than ever for fans at the event, on TV and online. Shorter races of around two hours, live on-board cameras, in-race rider performance data, a cycling expo, sportives, a family day and fan zone are just some of the perks Hammer Series will bring enthusiastic Norwegian fans.
Through partnerships Hammer Series has with a majority of WorldTour Teams, a world-class field is guaranteed, including 2017 Hammer Sportzone Limburg winners Team Sky, runners-up Team Sunweb (crowned TTT World Champions in Bergen last Sunday), and UAE Team Emirates, the new team of local heroes Alexander Kristoff and Sven Erik Bystrøm.
“Hammer is an exciting concept,” said Stavanger-born Kristoff. “I know the roads, all three stages seem to suit me very well and the climbs are not too hard. We will be one of the contenders for victory.”