The Elite Men’s Road Race will take place tomorrow, ending with 11 circuits of Bergen.
The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) 2017 Road World Championships have been taking place this week in the spectacular setting of the Norwegian city of Bergen. The championships have included men’s and women’s elite, under -23 and junior time trials and road races. The elite men’s individual time trial event was held on Tuesday 19th September and followed a varied and much acclaimed circuit through the city. The start/finish area was at Festplassen in the heart of Bergen. The course included just about everything for the cyclists and viewers alike, including some straight, flat sections, cobbles, tight corners and steep hills. The 31 kilometre route comprised two laps of Bergen and the final climb up Mount Floyen to the finish line. The winner of the race was Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands, with Britain’s Chris Froome taking the bronze medal.
The television coverage of the race included plenty of shots of the historic centre of Bergen and the colourful buildings of Bryggen which, not surprisingly is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There were also many opportunities for the cameras to show us spectacular panoramic views over the city and the fjords.
Tomorrow’s men’s elite road race will start at Øygarden, right out in the beautiful wild fjord country of Western Norway, although the cyclists probably won’t have too much time to enjoy the beautiful scenery! They will follow a largely flat course as they head southwards, crossing the magnificent Sotra suspension bridge before they enter the outskirts of Bergen. The 11 circuits of Bergen will start once again at Festplassen and take the riders up to Mount Ulriken where the riders will have a fantastic view over the city. Then the circuit goes around the old wooden houses in Sandviken, before the final stretch along Bryggen and the finish at Festplassen.
On Tuesday the sides of the course, particularly in the city centre and on the climb of Mount Floyen, were jam-packed with thousands of cycling fans cheering on the riders and waving huge Norwegian flags. It was an incredible spectacle to watch, not just for cycling fans but for anyone who enjoys seeing a major sporting event taking place in a very special setting. No doubt the crowds will be out in force again tomorrow, and hopefully the weather will be kind so the cameras will do justice to the wonderful city of Bergen and the beautiful fjord scenery.
For many people Bergen is a quick stop on a Norwegian Fjords cruise but the city has plenty to offer and definitely merits a longer visit. The television coverage over this week of cycling will surely have led many people to add Bergen to their list of “must do” European cities.