An arctic dream becomes true

news12.07.2013Pre-race

Knut-Eirik Dybdal,Director of the Arctic Race of Norway © A.S.O.

On a small island above the Arctic Circle, the first ideas on an international stage race held in Northern Norway were conceived. Presented to the world outside, it came out as a modern Norwegian fairytale. One commentator jokingly referred to us as «The Lunatics from Andørja», but not without respect since we already and against all odds had organised the Norwegian national championships on road bike in 2006. It was, in all modesty, a success.

This time our goals were set even higher. We sought to establish a professional stage race and an international event that on the one hand invited the elite of professional cycling and on the other created a unique window for the world into the arctic landscape of Norway. Herein lies the answer to why we dared to believe in the dream. We know what Norway and Northern Norway have to offer as an arena for cycling – that be in competition, in tourism and as an everyday means of transportation. In this part of the world we will create values in more than one sense. In the land of the midnight sun and of the northern lights, in between fjords and alpine mountains, we seek to create spectacular images for the public in the great outdoors and for TV-viewers worldwide. Again, we believe in it. And the number of people and partners included in this “we” has grown significantly.

As a Tour de France broadcaster, TV2 has not only opened doors to the world of procycling for the Norwegian public, they also opened doors for us when we gave our presentation of the Arctic Race of Norway concept to Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.). Half an hour of granted “audience” in Paris became three hours and our French partners were enthusiastic, especially so after a shared reconnaissance visit to Lofoten in July 2011.

It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this partnership with A.S.O. Our French partner ensures unique organisational competence, offers a global media network and holds a unique position in the world of professional cycling.

As partners and organisers we all agree however that no race or event would have been possible hadn't it been for the financial and moral support of the three northernmost counties, the investment from our main sponsors, the help from regional and local businesses, the support from tourism agencies and sports organisations at all levels and last but not least: the enthusiastic support from people all over Norway. Putting aside geographical and political boundaries, Norwegians have already embraced the Arctic Race of Norway. We believe to have our words intact when we claim that this event will make us all proud.

Now that the fairytale has become reality we are pleased to welcome you all to the first edition of the Arctic Race of Norway. See you in August in the land of the midnight sun!

Knut-Eirik Dybdal
Director of the Arctic Race of Norway

The news in pictures

photo12/07/2013 

Knut-Eirik Dybdal,Director of the Arctic Race of Norway © A.S.O.

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