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Event took riders 4,000 kilometres from Florence to the Arctic Circle

On the same weekend the fifth edition of the Transcontinental Race got under way this summer, a new bikepacking race began in Europe – this one taking the riders 4,000 kilometres from Italy to Norway.

Now, the organisers of the race, called the NorthCape4000, have looking back at this year’s inaugural event.

In all, 41 riders completed the unsupported race from Florence to the North Cape, which lies within the Arctic Circle and features a plateau sitting on a 307-metre-high cliff.

Along the way, participants had to pass through four compulsory checkpoints, in Innsbruck, Nuremberg, Stockholm and Rovaniemi, the capital of Finland’s Lapland region, where the checkpoint was located in Santa Claus’s office.

The NorthCape4000 will return next year, with a start date of 28 July, and you can find more information on the event’s website which is available in both Italian and English.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.