Scandinavia’s Best Cycling Party
On average, the town of Bergen, Norway, gets 242 days of rain a year—not ideal for the host of one of Europe's biggest cycling races. But when you consider the mountainous coastal roads, the Bergenseres' passion for cycling, and their outspoken, often brash local patriotism, it starts to seem like the perfect location to hop on a bike and ride.
This September saw the 84th running of the Road Cycling World Championships. It was one for the history books, as Slovakian rider Peter Sagan picked up his third consecutive gold medal—the first man to achieve such a feat. In second place, and about a centimeter behind, was Norwegian Alexander Kristoff.
Photo: Albanian rider Redi Halilaj eyes the top of the final climb during the elite men’s individual time trial. The day’s ride concluded with a grueling two-mile ascent of Mount Fløyen, on a narrow road with steep switchbacks and a 9-percent average grade.
The UCI, cycling’s governing body, created a provision in the race rules to allow competitors to switch from their time trial bikes to regular road bikes before the final climb. Willem Jakobus Smit of South Africa (pictured) opted not to switch, as did the day’s winner, Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin.
French rider Alexis Gougeard rounds a switchback during the time trial.
Ilnur Zakarin of Russia, roughly a mile from the summit of Mount Fløyen.
A fired up little cycling fan.
The elite men on the Sandviken section of the city circuit. The race began in Rong, a small town 25 miles northwest of the city. Once the peloton hit Bergen, the racers completed 12 laps of a 19-kilometer circuit, for a total of 172 miles and about six hours in the saddle.
In cycling and in spectating, proper nutrition is the key to victory.
Bergen’s famous Trekroneren hot dogs, which do come in a reindeer variety.
The elite women racing along the cobblestones of Kong Oscars gate.
The truly impressive pace of the peloton.