Reading the following rules does not let you feel, that this is a difficult thing. Actually it is not a difficult thing at all. If you think you can do anything, this is the one for you.
The challenge begins when you try to draw a line between all the checkpoints. This line shall not be too long in distance and also not too long in elevation. You will have a first guess and in the end you will really vary from there. Many adjsutments will not have the great effects as one might wish. Of course you check many possible options, planning here, planning there, checking topo’s, flying through with relive, checking surfaces with streetview. Having several new attempts to optimize. Deciding on distance vs. climbing or vice versa. Some people run some calculations. And the great surprise: On the big picture, there are not too many options that lead from here to there. If you create a heatmap from TCR, there are some major tracks that are chosen. And some people choose special routes are they know themselves best. Kristof who is cycling along the Bulgarian motorway. He sais he can go fast and has no uncertainties about food.
This year we planned some special mountain tops into our tour, so the roads will only get better, towards the end. Although the last leg to the last parcour has still two options and we will see what happens until there. We will ride along the coastline of Albania, so we have an option for cooling down during the day. Let us see how theory comes to life. It is going to be great seeing all these people coping with the exact same conditions of getting along and forward.
Life can be so simple and hard and wonderful!