With the first UCI races starting at the end of the month, the international cycling season is almost beginning again. For a few of the Norwegian riders of Team Hitec Products – Birk Sport, the season restarts this week with a four day national race. The Tour te Fjells will be a good test for Norwegian champion Ingrid Lorvik, Amalie Lutro, Pernille Feldmann and last years winner Ingvild Gaskjenn. They can expect some strong competition in the race.
In the past weeks, some riders already raced some time trials and local races. “To be able to pin a number on my jersey was long awaited. I have been longing to be able to race again”, Amalie tells. “It was an awesome feeling to be back racing with others in a peloton. I enjoyed every second of it and are looking forward to be more or less back to normal once again. I am really looking forward to the upcoming races, and can hardly wait to be back in the international peloton. But until then local and national races are a great option and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to compete.”
The Tour te Fjells starts on Thursday with quite the challenge. The riders will face a climbing time trial. After that, two stages with quite some climbing kilometers wait. On Sunday the races ends with a hilly circuit of eight kilometers that has to be done six times. “It is four stages, with a lot of hills and a really strong peloton, so no doubt it will be hard enough.” All information about the race can be found on the website Tourtefjells.no.
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“I am really eager and excited to meet and race against all the Norwegian girls again”, Amalie says. “At the same time there are some nerves linked to questions like; how is my form compared to the other girls, is my shape good? But I know I have been training good during this period and am mostly thrilled to start racing! I will go into the race with the goal to show that I have done a solid block of work since the lockdown and I hope my effort has paid off in terms of my shape. Being able to perform well is always desirable and would most definitely boost the motivation to continue the good job.”
Above all, the Tour the Fjells finally gives riders an opportunity to race again in a peloton with more women and to race for more days in a row. Amalie: “I feel so lucky to be able to compete against girls from all over Norway. It is without a doubt a huge advantage before we can start racing internationally again. Getting some speed in the legs, feel on race-nerves and really get to push ourselves to the limit is a golden opportunity which we Norwegians are lucky to have.”
Photo top: Fabian Helmersen – Amalie Lutro in a local race last week, with Pernille Feldmann in front of her.