Cimbrica or Jutland peninsula is the part of Denmark that is connected to the European mainland.
The organizer of this race set up a fixed route around this part of Denmark. Point of return is its most north landmark where northern sea and baltic sea meet!
In opposite to last year’s first edition when we started racing at 0800 in the morning, starting time of this year was shifted to midnight. Although I am not prepared in terms of additional relaxation in advance, I prefer nightly starts.
Arriving at the starting point, a little iconic bar ‘timeless’ in the middle of Blankese which is an upper class Hamburg neighborhood, plenty of bicycles where already parked outside this place. Getting in around 2230, many familiar faces had been around, except one starter, all from last year started again, as no one finished last year!
After several chats and talks, of course about bikes and races, we set off around midnight, heading towards the most north point of the jutland peninsula.
As always the initial speed was high. My cable connection for the rear light had been damaged during the bike was parked outside,I did only realize this issue after departure, so I stopped relaxed again and fixed it. So I was out of this initial rush for a good while.
After catching up with and over taking several guys, I took my first nap in the morning around 0430 for app. 1hrs. Then getting some coffee and rolls from the bakery for on the bike.
Pedaling the first day worked out quite nicely. Don’t giving it too much of a rush, meeting some other guys, comfy lunch, having an afternoon break on a bench in the sun. I finally made it up until Viborg, which are about 400kms. Rene sent me the location of a shelter, which I could easily find, altgough it was digged deep into the woods.
The next morning, crows woke me up, then I saw Rene and Thomas coming down the hill, after their small danish breakfast. We had a little chat and the went off. I got up, packed my stuff and went off as well, knowing I won’t catch them again as there seem to go together and fast.
On the ride I met Micha and we spent some time chatting on the bike. Having breakfast in an amazing danish gambling room. In Aalborg I lost him somehow. Road works, strange web of road and we were separated. In the morning we already had some nice gravel sections, directly after Aalborg the longer off road sections began. In addition we assume Denmark to be a flat country, compared to Switzerland that might be right, but hey. Up and down, up and down and the same again, all day long.
In the evening at 1800 I reached Skagen and I realized it gonna take me another hour to get to the top of Denmark’s north. Of we go, to the northest point that you can cycle, from here I lifted my bike over the rocks to the beach and walked up to the tip. Surprisingly, there were two other people taking pictures, Thomas and Rene. Funny. I really did not expect to meet them here, we decided to have dinner together. Rene took the train from here and Thomas stayed in a nice shelter. I continued my ride until another bus stop, looking like a shell. Comfort for sleeping below zero, never again.
The next day it took quite a while to get back in action mode, a calm day. No other riders and plenty of head wind, fog and also some rain. I had my first proper coffee this day. In the late evening around 2230, I found a red spot in front of me on the road, moving forward. The magnetic attraction of a bicycle in front must be very familiar to anyone of us! So I made my way up to, yes Micha. He was suddenly waking up again and happy he was not cycling alone anymore. Together we made it through some strange gravel parts and around 0200 we started checking spots for a short rest, 2hrs had been the plan. Finally we slept in a calm and windfree area of a mall. At 0700 we set off again and had coffee free breakfast at a supermarket that was just opening when I stopped by.
After breakfast we rode a good while with beginning head and side winds and sun! Micha was drafting and at one point I made the wrong turn down into a totally sandy valley. As I turned around, I realized he did not do the same mistake, but I was deep in it! It took me a good while to get back on track, this day started nicely!
On that day I had several smaller stops, the wind situation did not make me happy at all. Never from a good angle. As soon as the passages behind the dykes started, there were sheep on the path and doors that needsd to be opened and closed manually. Good excercise to get off and on your bike again!
Crossing the border from Denmark into Germany was literally like pedaling down a small hill. From now on, the road signs were in German, again. No further hint for something.
On that day, all stages of weather came up, except snow. Wind from the wrong directiom, short but strong rain, fog. As it got dark the wind remained strong, reduction of pleasure, for sure. Zig zag courses, wind from everywhere quick turns made it impossible to speed up. I was soo happy when I left Nordfriesland. Due to the rain I was riding in rain clothes, this have some additional heat, which made me cycle slow and getting sleepy. As I am expert of busstops, I took two 15mins power naps, to really catch the finish line, before dawn.
My kms clock on the garmin ran down to 0kms left, app. 10kms before Uetersen. I calculated everything by that value, liquid, food, energy and motivation. As a fact I got a gift of roughly 20kms on top. This did almost break myself. I was totally exhausted, as I pushed hard for the entire day. The last hour has been the hardest of the entire race, due to my mistake. I still did not figure out how this can happen and how to avoid it. Still before dawn I reached the finish line, although I hoped to reached it at midnight, which had been my second secret (internal) goal, after finishing this race at all!
Except the strong and continuous rain last year, the conditions have not been really different, seems we all had been way more and better prepared!
thank you for that amazing opportunity! You set up an amazing route, even the gravel amount had been relatively high. Not sure if I raced more gravel during the entire TCR. My bike setup from last year would definitely not have survived this huge amount of gravel, as I was mentally prepared for a more or less road race! Thanks to schwalbe marathon plus and an amazingly bouncing and buffering fork, I could hit any descent hard! Your gpx-file with all the tons of details was amazing, although at the arrival I was not capable to finish the Transcimbrica bottle, this gonna happen tonight at dinner!
What are your plans to get the first woman on board? Same challenge as many other races.
All Jutland peninsula is now going to be covered with Transcimbrica buttons, maybe now the people know, how their piece of land was really called!
To all the guys.
Great days, great rides, great times! No more words needed!!!