Israel – Premier Tech will take on Arctic Race of Norway with a strong team aiming to put its mark on the race once again after taking the overall win last year.
In 2021, Ben Hermans won the race after an impeccable team performance throughout the race. An achievement the IPT riders will do their best to repeat this year. Home favorite, Carl Fredrik Hagen, leads the IPT lineup and the 30-year-old Norwegian is eager to get started.
“This is a special race compared to many others and I’m really looking forward to getting started and racing in my home country”, Hagen explains.
“The last two stages will be the most crucial ones for the general classification and luckily, I know the final climb on stage 3 as I did recon earlier this year. The weather forecast doesn’t look too good but I’m used to racing in the cold so maybe that can give me a mental advantage. In any case, I feel the shape is coming along nicely right now and we have a really strong team here ready to fight for a top result.”
Sports director, Nicki Sørensen, echoes the words of Hagen. “We line up for Arctic Race of Norway with a strong team, believing we can do a really good race. We have several riders capable of doing well here and we hope that will help us achieve some great results.”
In addition to Hagen, Israel – Premier Tech also brings former overall podium finisher Krists Neilands, Sebastian Berwick, Cole Kessler plus both of the team’s stage winners from the recent Tour de France, Simon Clarke and Hugo Houle, to the race.
Last time Houle took part in Arctic Tour of Norway, he finished fifth overall and after his successful Tour de France, the 31-year-old Canadian is eager to pin on a race number again.
“I’m happy to be going back to Norway. I like the country and I like the vibe there. It feels a bit like home in Canada, with the nature and the lakes, so I’m really happy to be there. Personally, I feel pretty good after the Tour de France and I want to do a good race. I have good memories from the past editions and I’m really looking forward to racing again. We have a strong team here so let’s see what we can do.”
Arctic Race of Norway (11-14 August)
Riders: Sebastian Berwick (AUS), Simon Clarke (AUS), Carl Fredrik Hagen (NOR), Hugo Houle (CAN), Krists Neilands (LAT), Cole Kessler (USA).
Sports directors: Nicki Sørensen (DEN), Eric Van Lancker (BEL).