For the first time since 2018, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will participate in the Tour of Norway (2.Pro, 24-29/05) from Tuesday to Sunday, with local rider and former winner Alexander Kristoff.
The eleventh edition starts in Bergen, where the Norwegian rider became vice world champion in 2017, one day after his current teammate Julius Johansen conquered the rainbow stripes in the junior category.
A lot of climbing has to be done in the first three stages, with an uphill finish on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively on Voss (2.7 km at 6.6%) and Stavsro (12.1 km at 76%). In contrary, the difficulty of the second stage is halfway through the course of 124 kilometer with an 28 kilometer climb to Dyranut (4.3%), a mountain hut at an altitude of 1240 meter.
The peloton will head to the south of the country for the second part of the race which is characterized by hilly courses and finals on local laps. On Friday, the longest stage of 233 kilometer towards Kristiansand contains a double passage on Gimlekollen (1.4km at 4.9%) in the final 15 kilometer. The next day in Sandness, a hill of 800 meter (10.4%) has to be covered three times and on the final day a triple ascension of Grisabakken (0,6 km à 6,6%) animates the last race hour in Stravanger, where Alexander Kristoff lives.
In addition to his overall victory in 2019, Alexander Kristoff also won eight stages in his five participations. Under the direction of Aike Visbeek, the former European champion receives the support of Laurens Huys, Julius Johansen, Adrien Petit and Simone Petilli.