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Norway for everyone

Friday, July 25th

Fortified by the popular success enjoyed by the first edition of the Arctic Race of Norway and the presence of more than 150,000 cycling enthusiasts along the roadsides of the North in 2013, this... Read more

Welcome to Finnmark!

Monday, July 21st

During the days of the Arctic Race in Finnmark, participants, media and visitors will notice that they are in an almost separate country. Read more

Welcome to Troms!

Monday, July 21st

And welcome to the northernmost professional cycling race in the world! Read more

Northern Norway welcomes you!

Monday, July 21st

Arctic Race 2013 was truly amazing! Photos from the race went all around the world, framed by cheering people in a fantastic landscape. Read more

Kittel candidate to challenge
Hushovd, Kristoff,...

Wednesday, July 9th

Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano and Norwegian sprinters are expected to contest the second Arctic Race of Norway from August 14 to 17 with an unprecedented stage finish at the North Cape even though... Read more

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30.05.2014

Towards a Climax

© Trym Ivar Bergsmo/ARN

A professional cycling race shares some features found in a good short story. The beginning of the story appears calm and laid-back. The main characters, present on the starting line, hang casually over their bikes and chitchat with each other before they start rolling, with friendly smiles and nods of recognition to the spectators. Not much drama to speak of, in other words.

However, you do not have to read many pages before the first events take place. Some young riders, up and coming, wish to present themselves, make some chaos, aggravate the most experienced in the peloton. The challengers dart off and the breakaway is reported on the race radio, broadcasted on TV and announced by the speaker in the finish area. Most attempts fail, but perhaps there is one wannabe protagonist who hangs in there long enough embrace the dream of liberation and detachment. Which again just adds to the paranoia created by a chasing pack.

20140530613_ARN-3-2-b© S. Boué/ARN
The race is on, and after a series of breakaways and countermoves by the peloton this short story now has drive. Descriptions of landscapes and portraits of characters must give room for answering questions like: What's going on? Who is winning?

A turning point is passed when riders, teams, the crowd and commentators realise that the ending of this story is about to be revealed. Suddenly everyone is in a hurry in order to get into position. Within the pack, all teams wish to form their trains or seek to be to the locomotive. In the finish area, photographers frantically search for the best angle for their camera, while some families among the spectators are compelled to visit the toilet one last time before the riders arrive. People run between TV screens in the cafés and the street, fearing to ignore the latest development or worse: to miss out when the professional riders blast past at arm's length. See and be seen. Film and be filmed. A positive chaos reigns and the sound of people's cheers mix with the pounding on advertising banners and the screaming of odd car sirens. 

With this nerve-wracking build-up, you cannot quite predict the ending. The finish may be painful, although most people hope for an epiphany and a moment of euphoria. I for my part enjoy an ending of the short story – or the cycle race – that has the element of surprise.

20140530619_ARN-3-3-b© Trym Ivar Bergsmo/ARN

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