“The Arctic Race is more difficult than last year,” says Sports Director Michiel Elijzen. “This year there are two mountain top finishes on the menu. With Lars Petter Nordhaug, we have a motivated home rider who won the mountain classification last year. He showed good form in the Tour de Pologne, and he will certainly go for a good classification and a stage victory. Steven Kruijswijk came out of the Tour de France very well. In such a good form, he will do good on a course like this.”
With Nick van der Lijke and David Tanner, Team Belkin also has two riders with a swift sprint. “We have a team that can compete for victory every day. Nick and David can come a long way in the flatter stages. Jonathan Hivert and Stef Clement, two strong guys, complete the team. We have a very good team in Norway,” says Elijzen.
In the Tour de France, Steven Kruijswijk finished strongly in fifteenth place in the overall standings. “I just had a little rest after the Tour. Norway is a good race to start again. I didn’t ride the race last year, but I studied the course and it seems to me the difference can be made uphill,” said Kruijswijk.
“I want to demonstrate my good form from the Tour de France in this race and show myself in the mountains. My ambition is to get a good result in the general classification. But we have to wait and see how tough the course is in real life. But our team likes Norway. Earlier this year, Vanmarcke and Mollema won stages in another Norwegian race.”
Stef Clement, Jonathan Hivert, Steven Kruijswijk, Nick van der Lijke, Lars Petter Nordhaug and David Tanner.
Sports Director: Michiel Elijzen.