Norwegian cycling star Edvald Boasson Hagen won the weekend’s cycling race “Tour of Norway” (Glava Tour) but that didn’t cheer motorists who got stranded in major traffic congestion at Hønefoss on Sunday. Local police were flooded with calls because of blocked roads, poor signing and detours that proved impossible for large vehicles to use.
The fifth and last stage of the annual race covered 173 kilometers from Gjøvik to Hønefoss and began in the morning, with a finish expected around 4pm. That clashed with vehicle traffic through Hønefoss as Norwegians were out traveling during the long pinse and 17th of May holiday weekend.
Race organizers blamed police for failing to accommodate the racing cyclists, while police were frustrated over poor information and planning by the organizers. Lars Kristian Evensen of the Nordre Buskerud Police District told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that neither he nor his colleagues had been told where the race route would go and he could understand that motorists were frustrated, too.
“Folks have been furious, especially because of a lack of signs telling them how to drive around the race route,” Evensen said. Commercial truck drivers were even more angry, because several of them were redirected onto roads that couldn’t accommodate large vehicles. “So they had a very bad day at work, too,” Evensen told NRK.
Race organizers maintained that they’d had three meetings with police officials and had approval for the race from the state highway department. The race had attracted some of the world’s top cyclists including Boasson Hagen who won the overall event. Alexander Kristoff won Sunday’s last stage.