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 2018 after which each finisher can feel like a champion!
Are you up for the challenge?
The second Saariselkä MTB Fatbike in history will be organized on 3rd of March 2018. The event is directed to all mountain biking enthusiast from racers to ordinary hobby cyclists. All in all the atmosphere of the event is relaxed and not as competitive as in Saariselkä MTB Stages.
The tracks of Saariselkä MTB Fatbike run through the snowy forests and fells of Saariselkä. The track maps will be published closer to the event.
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.
All Great stage-races will challenge the rider’s grit and determination. The Saariselka MTB Stages IS such a race. It is true mountain-biking. You will probably hurt and struggle a bit, – perhaps be wet and cold too..
The organizers of Saariselka MTB Stages have created a very special experience for me and my team-mates as participants. This explains why we return every year; the three stages offers a unique mix of trails in a fantastic wilderness setting; narrow single-tracks, forest sections, open Arctic mountain landscape, plus plus!
Added to the riding experience, – the hospitality, service and proximity to everything in the Village makes it easy and simple.
See you in 2018!
Per Kåre Jakobsen