Meet the Norwegian national team for the 2017 UCI Road World Championships
The 2017 UCI Road World Championships has been a massive goal for the Norwegian riders for years. The Norwegian team has a good combination of eager young talents and international superstars with great experience.
For the Men Elite, Norway makes the strongest team ever. The team will support the present two biggest names in Norwegian cycling, Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) and Alexander Kristoff (NOR).
Boasson Hagen became pro at an age of 20 in 2008. With six wins as a neo-pro, the superlatives were thrown none stop against the Norwegian talent. In 2009 he won Gent-Wevelgem with a spectacular 400m sprint for the line. After his impressive 2011-season, including two stage wins in the Tour de France, the road has been somewhat bumpier for Edvald.
But in 2017 the 30-year-old seems to have found back to his enormous talent. After winning Tour of Norway and Tour des Fjords in May, he was back among the fastest sprinters in the world at the Tour de France. On the 19th stage he really showed himself as «the good old Edvald». Helped by his clever intuition and outrageous strength, he was able to outnumber his breakaway companions for an epic solo win. «Eddy» is back!
Alexander Kristoff has been one of the most victorious riders in the world for years. Already as a 19-year-old he outsprinted the to become UCI Road World Champion Thor Hushovd for his first National title. With monuments like Milano-San Remo and Tour de Flanders on his list of palmarès, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest classics riders in the world. The 30-year-old Norwegian is the current UEC Road European Champion.
Odd Christian Eiking (NOR), raised on Askøy in the middle of the Team Time Trial course, is one of the local talents having the UCI Road World Championships at their most familiar roads. Eiking became professional at Française des Jeux in 2016 and he has developed to be a top-class rider. He got his first professional win in May, and during Tour de Poland he was in the top rankings together with riders like Peter Sagan, Rafał Majka and Vincenzo Nibali. The local community will cheer like crazy, and you should not be surprised if «SuperOdd» is still in it for the final during the Men Elite Road Race.
Kristoffer Skjerping (NOR) is raised on Sotra, and the first part of the Men Elite’s Road Race will be at the 23-year-old’s most familiar roads. Kristoffer has been unlucky for the last couple of years, but his potential is huge. His bronze medal at the National Championship Individual Time Trial, only about a minute short of Boasson Hagen, is a solid proof of Skjerping’s great capacity. The «stril» from Sotra has an impressive «kick» in the shorter climbs and he is a really good sprinter. Kristoffer will ride the Team Time Trial for his Norwegian team, Joker Icopal. We can expect a lot from the 23-year-old in Bergen and in the years to come.
In the Women’s Elite Road Race the Norwegian team is well balanced between experience and young courage. Susanne Andersen (NOR) is one of the greatest talents in the women’s peloton. The superfast 20-year-old is always in the top rankings when it comes down to a mass sprint for the line. Her bronze medal at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha and silver medal at the 2017 UEC Road European Championships confirms her talent. Look out for Susanne in Bergen and the years to come.
Kathrine Aalerud (NOR) started her cycling career just two and a half years ago. Her dedication and passion for cycling has brought her close to the very best in record time. The 22-year-old Norwegian is known for her capacity and she is a huge GC-talent for the future. Don’t be surprised if Kathrine attacks the favorites in the Salmon Hill.
Vita Heine (NOR) represent the more experienced part of the Norwegian team. She is a true fighter with great power in her legs. Vita lives in Bergen and you should expect her to be aggressive during the 2017 UCI Road World Championships in her own back yard. The two-time consecutive National Norwegian will not be easy to get rid of in the Women’s Road Race.
Emilie Moberg (NOR) is an experienced sprinter aiming for a good result in Bergen. The 26-year-old is super-fast, but she also got attacking power in shorter hills. If Emilie is still in it at the last passing of the Salmon Hill, she will be a tough nut to crack.
Junior and Men Under 23
In the Men Under 23 class, Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR) is the reigning champion at the UCI Road World Championships Road Race. «Doffen» may be the best Under 23 sprinter in the world. His excellent positioning skills and exploding acceleration has caused trouble for even world class sprinters. During this year’s Tour of Norway, Halvorsen was only inches from outsprinting Dylan Groenewegen (NED) who later won the prestigious Champs-Élysées-stage at the Tour de France. Kristoffer will be surrounded by great domestiques like Anders Skaarseth (NOR) and Tobias Foss (NOR).
The Norwegian Men Juniors have been unbelievable strong this year. With an amazing team spirit and willingness to sacrifice for each other, the Norwegian Juniors are ranked as the best in the world. There are not just one or two riders responsible for the great results. Four riders have won international races this year, and even more riders are following just behind. You should expect to see the Norwegian Juniors aggressive and dominant during the Men Junior Road Race in Bergen. Andreas Leknessund is among the main favorites for the gold medal at the Men Junior Individual Time Trial.
For the Norwegian Women Juniors, it will be a great experience to compete in the UCI Road World Championships at well-known roads. Emilie Røe Utvik (NOR) lives in Bergen and she is ready to show the local community what she is made of.
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