Tour des Fjords is a category UCI 2.1 race which is being held this year (2017) from 24th - 28th May.
Tour des Fjords 2017 includes five exciting stages, spanning the counties Sogn and Fjordane, Hordaland and Rogaland. The race offers riders and spectators alike spectacular scenery, comprising deep fjords and high mountains, dramatic waterfalls and rugged coastline, as well as charming towns and villages that will all be in a party mood. Add to this some of the most exciting professional riders in the world, and the stage is set for a truly magnificent sporting event. A solid entry list of world pros is expected for this year's event, being held for the fifth consecutive year. Several famous World Tour teams will be fighting it out to be crowned the overall event winner. In addition to the Pro Race, there will also be the Tour des Fjords Children's Race and, for the more experienced amateur rider, the Tour des Fjords Classic - held on the same route as the Pro Race, during the fourth stage on Saturday, 27th May.
As you can imagine, organising such a huge event really is a team effort - we'd like to thank our wonderful sponsors, partners and public donors, as well as all other generous contributors and volunteers. Many thanks to you all!
Tour des Fjords was first held in autumn 2013 and was a development of Rogaland Grand Prix, which had been arranged by the Rogaland Bicycle circuit in the period 2008-2012. Former pro cyclist Roy Hegreberg was key in seeing Tour des Fjords expanded from being a one-day race to becoming a stage race, held over several days. Tour des Fjords is now among the highest-rated cycle races in Norway and is ranked as a UCI category 2.1 race.
Tour des Fjords AS was founded in November 2012, with Stavanger SK and Nordsjørittet AS as owners. Roy Hegreberg was hired as general manager.
Stavanger Municipality was the largest public donor of the event through its first three years. All starting and destination locations have been instrumental in making the event what it is today, as well as counties and local funds in Ryfylke and Hardanger. In 2016, Tour des Fjords entered into a three-year agreement with TV2, the Norwegian television channel, that ensures TV coverage until 2018.
Since the Pro Race's inception in 2013, the Tour des Fjords Classic event has been held alongside the main event. There is also a Children's Race, free for children aged from 2-12 years, and held at all race start and finish locations.
In 2015 and 2016, the 'Peloton Bike Start' was held at Stavanger Forum in the city. Peloton is TV2's kick-off to the cycling season and is a collaboration between Tour des Fjords, Stavanger Forum, Nordsjørittet and TV2. Coverage from Peloton was broadcast natioanally on TV2. Following a pause in 2017, Peloton is expected to return to screens in 2018.
The race is expanding this year by adding another county - Sogn and Fjordane - for the first time.
Tour des Fjords was arranged as a three-day race with four stages. The stages went from Valle in Aust-Agder to Stavanger on first day, one leg in Ryfylke the day after and the final two stages took place in the Stavanger region. In 2013 there were 17 teams with eight riders on each team. The race was won by Sergey Chernetskiy.
Tour des Fjords was extended to a five-day race and went from Bergen, Hordaland, through Hardanger, Haugalandet Ryfylke and down to the finish in the Stavanger region. In 2014 there were 20 teams with six riders on each team. The race was won by Alexander Kristoff.
The race went from Bergen, Hordaland, through Hardanger, Haugalandet, Sunnhordaland, Ryfylke and down to Sandnes and Stavanger. In 2015 there were 21 teams with six riders on each team. The race was won by Marco Haller.
144 riders divided into 24 teams set off from the start in Os in 2016. Among them were World Tour teams Team Katusha, BMC Racing Team, IAM Cycling and Tinkoff. The race finished in Bergen on the first leg, before continuing to Odda in Hardanger. The start went from Ulvik in the third stage before the finish in Suldalsosen. The race ended in sunshine in Stavanger and Sandnes for the final two stages. The overall winner in 2016 was Alexander Kristoff.
The race was broadcast nationally in Norway on TV2, as well as on several international sports channels. Official estimates put the crowds of spectators at 92,000 over the five stages.