The new Tour of Norway is a category UCI 2.HC race which is being held from May 28nd-June 2nd, 2019.
Tour des Fjords is a category UCI 2.HC race which was held in May 2018 for the sixth consecutive year while Tour of Norway was held for the eighth consecutive year.
In 2017, Tour des Fjords was arranged as a 5-day race. In 2018, Tour des Fjords was reduced to 3 days, followed by the new Hammer Stavanger concept, which also was raced over 3 days. Read more about Hammer Stavanger here. With the two unique races following each other, there was a 6 days cycling festival held in southern and western parts of Norway.
After the merger between Tour des Fjords and Tour of Norway the 2019 edition will have 6 race days starting 28th May in Rogaland and finishing in the eastern parts of Norway on June 2nd. Race start will be just after Hammer Stavanger which will be held on May 24th to May 26th. Up to 22 teams will race in Tour of Norway 2019, and as a result of the link to Hammer Stavanger at least five of the teams will be World Tour teams. Both Tour of Norway and Hammer Stavanger will have extensive TV coverage on TV2 Norway, with several hours of broadcast daily, as well as coverage in several international sports channels. With both Tour of Norway and Hammer Stavanger we can present of the biggest annual sports events in Scandinavia.
Tour des Fjords was first held in autumn 2013 and was a development of Rogaland Grand Prix, which had been arranged by the Rogaland Bicycle circuit in the period 2008-2012. Former pro cyclist Roy Hegreberg was key in seeing Tour des Fjords expanded from being a one-day race to becoming a stage race, held over several days. Tour des Fjords is now among the highest-rated cycle races in Norway and is ranked as a UCI category 2.1 race.
Tour des Fjords AS was founded in November 2012, with Stavanger SK and Nordsjørittet AS as owners. Roy Hegreberg was hired as general manager.
Stavanger Municipality was the largest public donor of the event through its first three years. All starting and destination locations have been instrumental in making the event what it is today, as well as counties and local funds in Ryfylke and Hardanger. In 2016, Tour des Fjords entered into a three-year agreement with TV2, the Norwegian television channel, that ensures TV coverage until 2018.
Since the Pro Race's inception in 2013, the Tour des Fjords Classic event has been held alongside the main event. There is also a Children's Race, free for children aged from 2-12 years, and held at all race start and finish locations.
In 2015 and 2016, the 'Peloton Bike Start' was held at Stavanger Forum in the city. Peloton is TV2's kick-off to the cycling season and is a collaboration between Tour des Fjords, Stavanger Forum, Nordsjørittet and TV2. Coverage from Peloton was broadcast natioanally on TV2. Following a pause in 2017, Peloton is expected to return to screens in 2018.
Tour des Fjords was arranged as a three-day race with four stages. The stages went from Valle in Aust-Agder to Stavanger on first day, one leg in Ryfylke the day after and the final two stages took place in the Stavanger region. In 2013 there were 17 teams with eight riders on each team. The race was won by Sergey Chernetskiy.
Tour des Fjords was extended to a five-day race and went from Bergen, Hordaland, through Hardanger, Haugalandet Ryfylke and down to the finish in the Stavanger region. In 2014 there were 20 teams with six riders on each team. The race was won by Alexander Kristoff.
The race went from Bergen, Hordaland, through Hardanger, Haugalandet, Sunnhordaland, Ryfylke and down to Sandnes and Stavanger. In 2015 there were 21 teams with six riders on each team. The race was won by Marco Haller.
144 riders divided into 24 teams set off from the start in Os in 2016. Among them were World Tour teams Team Katusha, BMC Racing Team, IAM Cycling and Tinkoff. The race finished in Bergen on the first leg, before continuing to Odda in Hardanger. The start went from Ulvik in the third stage before the finish in Suldalsosen. The race finished in Stavanger and Sandnes for the final two stages. The overall winner in 2016 was Alexander Kristoff.
The race was broadcast nationally in Norway on TV2, as well as on several international sports channels. Official estimates put the crowds of spectators at 92,000 over the five stages.
Tour of Fjords 2017 consisted of 5 exciting stages through spectacular scenery from deep fjords to high mountains, waterfalls and shoreline, and the epic atmosphere of spectators in the city and the village. The race started in Balestrand to Førde in Sogn og Fjordane, which is the longest north the race has ever been. And then passed several places in beautiful Hardanger before finishing on Karmøy at stage 3, before the two closing rounds in the Stavanger region. 20 teams participated and among the World Tour teams we could find Team Dimension Data, Lotto NL-Jumbo and Sunweb at the starting line. The race was broadcasted on TV2's main channel and had a viewing share of about 30%. It was also the first year that Team Katusha and Alexander Kristoff did not participate. The race was won by Edvald Boasson Hagen.
In 2018 Sørlandet was the hosting region when the cycle festival was kicked of with the strongest peloton in the history of the race. 10 World Tour teams was lined up when the race started at Lindesnes og finished in Grimstad on day one. The second stage went from Risør to Kristiansand while the finishing stage started in Farsund and finished in Egersund. This was actually the second visit to the Agder county as the inaugural stage actually started in Valle with finish in Stavanger. The 2018 edition presented a completely different scenery compared to previous years, along the beautiful coast of Sørlandet and a finish stage through the magic Dalane landscape. Overall winner of Tour des Fjords 2018 was swiss Michael Albasini representing Team Mitchelton Scott.