What do you do when you want a finish in a World Tour-race but are one road short? Well, you build a new road for the cyclists…
”Gunnars vei” (”Gunnars road”) at Mysen saves the finish on Friday’s stage from Halden to the small city in the inner of Østfold.
”Gunnars vei” is named after Gunnar Johnsrud in Eidsberg kommune (municipality). He is the one in charge of building the 75 meters of gravel road connecting Blomsterveien at Smådahljordet with Sponesveien.
This is but a short part of gravel road, constructed to avoid crossing the raiway. The ladies haven’t time to wait for the train!
Also last year the ladies faced a part of gravel road in Rakkestad when visiting the fair ”Markens Grøde”. Although the dirt is shorter this year, the main difference is that there were no road her before!
-I never believed that I should see a World Tour-race here, says the project manager Kjell-Erik Kristiansen laughing. He is from Mysen himself and knows the area better than most.
-The problem was that we can’t cross the railway because of the trains from Oslo passing every hour. And we didn’t want to close down the whole center of Mysen, so the municipality came up with a constructive solution with ”Gunnars vei”. I really hope people will come out to see this spectacular event, says Kristiansen, who has been an announcer at about 50 World Championships and 7 Olympics.
Mysen – Østfold’s youngest city
Mysen is Østfold’s youngest city, celebrating its 20 years anniversary this year. The Ladies Tour of Norway on Friday the 18th of August is one of the biggest sporting events ever in the inner part of the region of Østfold. And it is double special since prime minister Erna Solberg is the special Guest of honor.
We frequently get questions about the ladies’arrival time at Mysen. TV2 transmits live between 16:40 and 18:20 and we expect the racers to enter the final circuit just after 17:15 local time. They will do three laps through Mysen centre, says Kristiansen, who also is looking forward to welcoming fellow commentator legends Christian Paasche and Johan Kaggestad from TV2 to Mysen.
”Gunnars vei” is not the only section of gravel this year. Also on Saturday’s stage between Sarspborg and Fredrikstad there is a part without tarmac, but the most challenging part is a 7 kilometer, partly ascending gravel road through the Swedish forests between Enningdalen and Kornsjø.
The three laps in Mysen are technical and demanding. A bridge within the last kilometer will have new asphalt, hopefully still not slippery. The field enters Mysen from the old E18 coming from Ørje, close to the Swedish border.
There are two sprints in Mysen. One normal sprint at the first passage of the finish line and one Queen of Mountain on the second lap at Folkenborg. There is a hill on each lap, and the course is quite twisty with several 90 degrees corners. The final straight is slightly uphill with the steepest part closest to the line.
The people of Mysen are really ready to welcome the Ladies Tour of Norway for the first finish here (last year one of the stages started here, and the men’s Tour of Norway has passed the city a couple of times).
The Prize ceremony will be at Kulturtorget next to the finish at 18:10-18:15. The average speed on the undulating stage from Halden is expected to be around 40 km/h.