Welcome to the far north, to Saariselkä, to experience mountain biking in the pristine and unforgettable sceneries of Urho Kekkonen national park and Hammastunturi wilderness area!
Saariselkä MTB Stages is not just another race!
It is a three-day mountain bike stage race in the wilderness of northernmost Finland. During the race you get to enjoy the pristine trails of Urho Kekkonen national park and Hammastunturi Wilderness area. Along the 180 race kilometres you will pass the legendary Kulmakuru gorge, treeless Raututunturi fell area, and other geologically and historically unique destinations of Saariselkä.
The terrain of Saariselkä is known for its few key charasteristics. Although we don’t have huge mountains we still have some of Finland’s longest climbs and descents. Our fells also have some stones, which many people have noticed after having several punctures. 🙂
But not to worry, proper tires will last all of our stones. The fact that our trails go through some of the last real wilderness areas in Europe means that there aren’t many stuctures on the trails. Along the trails you will walk and ride through several small rivers and streams. Besides all of this, our trails are a real blast to ride on!
Each year a group of cyclist consisting of top elite athletes and enthusiast start for Saariselkä MTB Stages. However, Saariselkä MTB Stages is not a piece of cake – and it is not even supposed to be one. It is supposed to be the greates challenge of 2019 after which each finisher can feel like a champion!
Are you up for the challenge?
Saariselka MTB is a three-day MTB marathon in Lapland (300 km from Murmansk, 1200 km from Petrozavodsk, 1150 km from St. Petersburg). The race is distinguished by excellent organization and friendly, home atmosphere at the start and finish.
In my opinion, this event is great for advanced amateurs to try a real, not diluted mountain bike. A variety of tracks, a variety of coverage will not let you relax and get bored during all three days of the competition. Stones, roots, fast single-track tracks through the forest and roads along the hills of the Lapland tundra are what Saariselka MTB is.
It is necessary to be ready morally and physically to 3-4 hours stages for three days in a row. But all the difficulties are forgotten when you plunge into the atmosphere of the race, the struggle with rivals, the apparent simplicity of treacherous routes and the unbridled beauty of wildlife.I want to come back again and again, forgetting about the suffering that was suffered in the previous stage. I recommend to everyone who loves and understands mountain biking.
What makes you drive 1000km over a weekend from South of Finland to Lapland and back? It is the unique nature and atmosphere of Saariselkä MTB Stages!
It is Finland’s only stage race which takes place in terrain which is demanding in a good way. The duration of the stages and long climbs along the way will give your legs a real challenge. At the same time you will get experiences you can’t get anywhere else – river crossing at Tolosjoki, the long climb to Kulmakuru, views in Urho Kekkonen national park, and wild reindeer running alongside you in Vellinsärpimä trail are things you will remember for a long time.
When you are riding for three days you will find the same group of people riding with you every day. After the stages it is nice to go through the day during the dinner in Restaurant Pirkon Pirtti.
Coming again next year with our growing group!
Thank you to everybody who was involved with Saariselkä MTB Stages in one way or another! See you next year! Saariselkä MTB Stages 2019 takes place 22nd – 25th August! Pre-registration opens on the 1st of December 2018.
Saariselkä MTB Stages 2018 overall results