Friday, 31 December 2010

Ascending in Norway

Norwegian PRO riders are not many by numbers but of course we like to think they have made an impression. Well, as a PRO you are automatically good so that kind of stand by itself. Names like Arvesen, Boasson Hagen, Hushovd, Kristoff and Wilmann are quite familiar within the cycling community. With the exception of Wilmann, none of these riders are known to be climbers. However, there were reports from France that stated Arvesen rode so hard in front of the peloton that some climbers fell off during the tour in 2008.

Denmark have had several climbers who made the headlines, let's say in both positive and negative ways. And Denmark is as flat as Holland. That's said, Norway is not as mountainous as we Norwegians might think. Take a plane down to the south of France crossing the Alps, you really see what I write. Mountains, massive alpine mountains with cols reaching up to airplane gives a mighty impression. Here, giants must live.

We all heard about les Alps et les Pyrénées, those who have not been to any of those as a cyclist or planning to - shame on you.
Much history left on both sides of the road and there are reasons col du Tourmalet, mount Ventoux and col du Galibier are feared and beloved by so many. For those of you who want to take on the ultimate challenge, this is what you should do.

In Norway there are some great climbs to, they might not be as long as those you'll find in France or Italy for that matter, but I can promise you that your legs will hurt as much as your lungs climbing them. Here is one that comes highly recommended:

Trollstigen (the Troll path)
Located in Romsdal in Norway this magnificent climb takes you through 11 hairpins, from sea level up to 858 metres which will set you up for a good 9% ascent. You will be rewarded with stiff and sore legs but a also by strong head and a great view.

Picture by Anne Petersen

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