158km | 2700m+ · Friday 3rd August
The first stage starts in a picturesque harbour area in Jørpeland, a town otherwise known as the Pulpit Rock village. Setting off in an eastwards direction, riders will pass by the entry to the Pulpit Rock (275,000 annual visitors) and begin a scenic route along the fjord towards the island of Idse which is host to the Stavanger locals’ summer-cabins. The first challenge of the day appears after just 10km, as the road rises sharply at an average of 9% for just over 1km. The ensuing loop takes riders back towards Jørpeland as they head in the direction of Solbakk, the site of the entry to the world’s longest underwater tunnel.
The next short climb up Heia peaks at 281m and averages 8% gradient, the ensuing descent takes riders into Bjørheimsbygd, which is the home of 4x MTB XC world champion Gunn-Rita Dahle. Riding along the Tysdalsvatnet and Øvre Tysdalsvatnet lakes known for its 4kg Trout, participants will pass through the renaissance town of Årdal before reaching the highest point of the stage at 321m. Just over 100km into the stage the route returns to the fjord by Hjemeland and the coastal road towards the town of Tau. The last climb of the day awaits at 142km alongside the Bjørheimsvatnet lake before returning once again to the fjord and final flat portion towards the finish line in Tau.
The stage cols will be available soon