Stage 2: Gulen - Norheimsund (185,1 km)
Thursday, May 25, 2017
The stage in brief
Also on day two, Tour des Fjords starts in Sogn og Fjordane county. The start is in Brekke, in the municipality of Gulen, with the finish being 184 kilometers further South in Norheimsund on the beautiful Hardangerfjord. The riders leave the old landing pier in Brekke before the flag for the official start drops on the E39 motorway. After the first few kilometers on the nice and broad road, the race turns and heads towards Modalen at Romarheim. A spectacular path leads it past the first climb of the day and Eidslandet until reaching Dale and entering the municipality of Bergen and Samnanger.
Things start to get serious when the riders take on the climb of Kvamskogen. The long climb up to 450 meters above sea level has been featured in Tour des Fjords before and will be a preliminary decision about who will be able to fight for the stage victory that day. Even more decisive than the climb itself could be the fast and twisted descent down to Norheimsund, providing a stunning view of Hardangerfjord. A final loop to Øystese and Fykse provides a few short ascents that make for great racing before reaching the finish line at Steindalsfossen waterfall.
Categorized climbs: Haukelandsdalen (Cat. 2), Vaksdal (Cat. 3), Kvamskogen (Cat. 2)
Alexander Kristoff from Stavanger, pro cyclist at Team Katusha and two times winner of Tour des Fjords:
"This is going to be a very nervous stage with a lot of short climbs which will keep the race open. None of the climbs are too hard though, so there is a chance for a sprint finish. However, if somebody decides to put on the pressure and make this stage hard, we could see quite big time gaps at the finish in Norheimsund that will influence the overall classification."
Highlights along the stage
Stage 2 offers a huge variety in the portfolio of the Western Norwegian landscape as it leads from Sogn og Fjordane county to Hordaland, where the biggest city Bergen will host this year’s UCI Road World Championships in September. This stage is a special one because of not less than 50 tunnels that the peloton will pass through – something very typical for Fjord Norway. From its start on the old landing pier of Brekke in Gulen to the finish in Norheimsund, the 191 kilometers connect Norway’s longest Fjord, Sognefjord, with the second longest, Hardangerfjord. Hardangerfjord does not only offer stunning views, but is also an important factor for the economy in the region. Be it tourism, fruit cultivation or salmon breeding, where Hardangerfjord is one of the largest breeding areas in the entire world.
Where to watch
- TV2 broadcasts the race live from 15:30 to 18:30
- Start in Gulen at 13:20, first passage in Norheimsund at about 17:00, finish at about 18:00
- Estimated passages (42 km/h): Haukelandsdalen 14:00, Eidslandet 14:54, Dalseid 15:24, Vaksdal 15:52, Samnanger 16:21, Kvamskogen 16:51, Norheimsund 17:09, Øystese 17:42
- For more information on the programme, check here