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Re: The Perfect Race
« Reply #90 on: June 10, 2017, 21:02 »
8 June 2020: Stage 3
Flensburg - Sønderborg, 184.1 km

The sign-in will be on the Exe. Formerly used for popinjay shooting and cattle markets, it became a military exercising ground in the 19th century, giving it its modern name. Today it hosts various fairs and circuses, and is otherwise used as a parking area. Since 2015, a container village in a corner of the area has hosted refugees. A 10-minute walk from the city centre, the Exe offers ample parking for the team buses and cars, and there's still room for a stage where the presentation and sign-in happens.

After a 6.7 km neutral zone on the B 199, the real start is given outside Handewitt (well-known as the second part of the name of handball club SG Flensburg-Handewitt). Stage 3 traverses the immediate border area, first going west all the way to Højer, then back east to the finish in Sønderborg.

The first point of interest is Ladelund, site of Ladelund Ungdomsskole, the only efterskole in Sydslesvig. The little village hosts the day's first intermediate sprint. Continuing west, the peloton passes by Seebüll, the house built for world-famous painter Emil Nolde who hailed from this area - it is now a museum.

Only a few kilometres after Seebüll, we cross the border to Denmark in Rudbøl, marking the start of the "Best Rider on Danish Roads" subclassification. North of the border, there is an 8-km stretch on Højer Dige, overlooking the marshes and Wadden Sea (UNESCO World Heritage) to the west, before we reach the westernmost point of the stage in Højer and turn east.

In Møgeltønder, the Slotsgade throws 700 metres of cobbles at the peloton, with the first riders being rewarded by an activity sprint outside Schackenborg Castle. Shortly afterwards, we pass the nice little town of Tønder. The riders won't have time to look at Tønder Kunstmuseum though, speeding on towards the east coast of Sønderjylland.

On the way to the Flensborg Fjord they will pass Frøslevlejren, a German concentration camp in World War 2 and now a højskole, closely followed by the feedzone in the border town of Padborg (only a few kilometres north of Flensburg). In Kruså, an intermediate sprint is held at the memorial for the meeting of Danish king Christian X with the Danes from Sydslesvig who were not to be reunited with Denmark. He uttered the now-famous phrase "I skal ikke blive glemt" ("You shall not be forgotten") that's also inscribed on the stone.

Reaching Flensborg Fjord in Kollund, the riders turn inland again in Sønderhav at Annies kiosk - probably the only pølsebod with a Wikipedia entry - to climb Sønderhavvej for the day's first mountain sprint.

After 18 more kilometres another intermediate sprint is held in Gråsten, home of Gråsten Slot and the world-famous Gravenstein apples (Denmark's national fruit), and we then race around picturesque Nybøl Nor.

Finally, we reach the finishing circuit of the day, set around Dybbøl and Sønderborg. In 1864, this was the site of the decisive battle of the war, when the Prussian troops overran the Danish defenses on the hills overlooking the important city. Today, there's an interactive museum built on top of the hill, bringing the history of the conflict to schoolchildren and other interested visitors.

After crossing the finish line for the first time, the riders face three laps of this circuit well-known from the Tour of Denmark:

Descending into Sønderborg (with great views of Sønderborg Slot), they cross Kong Christian den Tiendes Bro, go up the cobbled Jomfrustien, back across the bridge, and up the drag towards Dybbøl Mølle. The final metres before the line (as well as a bit after the line) are cobbled, as well.

After the stage, teams can choose to stay in their Flensburg hotels for another night, or they can be accommodated in Aabenraa or Haderslev - the next day's starting city.
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  • « Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 19:14 by LukasCPH »
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    Re: The Perfect Race
    « Reply #91 on: August 28, 2017, 15:18 »
    9 June 2020: Stage 4
    Haderslev - Vejle, 203 km

    The medieval city of Haderslev will host the start of stage 4, with the sign-in underneath the old cathedral.

    This stage consists of two parts: The first isn't that spectacular racing-wise, but has lots of history. The second is filled to the brink with short, steep hills and will certainly blow the peloton to pieces.

    After a neutral procession out of the city, the real start is given on Christiansfeld Landevej, the name of the road already hinting at the day's first point of interest - the town of the Moravian Brethren, Christiansfeld, founded in 1773 as a model town and today famous for its honey cakes, the "Christiansfelder snitter".

    The riders won't have time to take on provisions here as the race for the break of the day will be on - but maybe some of them took the opportunity to get this treat in Haderslev. After the detour through Christiansfeld, they continue northward on the dead straight Koldingvej, and here the first bonus sprint of the day marks another point of interest.

    Just south of Taps, there is the inn "Frederikshøj Kro", founded in 1660. After the 1864 war, the new German-Danish border was drawn just south of the inn, and it was soon known as "Grænsekroen" (The Border Inn). After the 1920 referendum, this was the place where king Christian X was greeted by the people of Sønderjylland before he mounted his white horse and rode across the now-obsolete border. Today, there is a memorial stone, as well as a museum about the border and reunification, across the road from "Den gamle Grænsekro" (The Old Border Inn) - its current and final name.

    Next is a mountain sprint on Skamlingsbanken. One of the highest hills in the area, it rose to prominence in the 19th century when a number of festivals to promote the Danish language were held here. There were also celebrations of the reunification of Sønderjylland (already in 1919) and of the liberation of Denmark after World War II. More recently, there have been opera festivals. There are also several memorials, including the Skamlingsbankestøtten honouring 18 individuals who supported the Danish language, and a belfry in honour of World War II resistance fighters.
    Descending from Skamlingsbanken, we reach Kolding and the day's first activity sprint underneath Koldinghus.

    In Kolding, the route turns southwest again, passing through Vamdrup, the border station for trains 1866-1920 and therefore one of the most important train stations in all of Denmark - until reunification made it a stop in the middle of nowhere again. The next towns are Jels and Rødding. This detour of ~50 km is done not only to rack up kilometres, but most importantly to be able to cross Kongeåen at Foldingbro, as this river (well, stream) formed the German-Danish border for 56 years. To commemorate this history, Foldingbro is the site of the day's second bonus sprint.

    Not long after the feed zone in Egtved (best-known for the incredibly well-preserved Bronze Age burial of a teenage girl, see photo), the second part of the stage starts; and right away we have a 9.6% climb up Tørskindvej.

    Only a few kilometres later, the peloton crosses Ravning Enge, a meadow in the valley of Vejle Å where a 760-metre wooden bridge made dry passage of the valley possible - in 980! It was likely built by the king of Denmark ... well, Jelling, Harald Blåtand (English: Bluetooth). There's a reconstruction of a part of the bridge in the valley. Ravningvej is the next climb, out of the river valley.

    Like the Vikings, we continue on to Jelling. The last bonus sprint of the day is held in walking distance of the small town's historic monuments: Two runestones (one of which is the first written evidence of Denmark as a Christian country, and therefore nick-named "Denmark's baptism certificate"), erected by the aforementioned Harald Blåtand - who also raised two enormous mounts in honour of his parents (they were likely buried in the northern one, as well as the largest stone ship in the world (360x70 metres), a huge fence around what was likely the king's "palace", and a wooden church (where Harald's parents, Gorm den Gamle and Thyra Danebod, were likely re-buried; the wooden church was later replaced by the stone church that still stands). All these monuments can be seen on the second photograph.

    Next up is the steep climb of Østengårdvej (average percentage of 8.2%, albeit 'only' 925 metres). And then we'll reach Vejle for the first time ... but not for good. We've only come here to climb Gl. Kongevej/Chr. Winthersvej:

    Whatever momentum riders may have had from the descent will evaporate within a pedalstroke once they hit this veritable wall. 40 km from the finish and with a lot of climbs still to come, this isn't where the decisive move will be made ... or is it? For unlike the Tour of Denmark, we've thrown in two more legbreakers after this one, making it difficult for dropped riders to come back:

    Gl. Hornstrupvej and Bøgeagervej are both shorter than a kilometre, but steeper than 8% in places, and they come only 6 and 12 km, respectively, after Gl. Kongevej/Chr. Winthersvej.
    After this trifecta of climbs, teams get a respite of around 10 kilometres to regroup (if there's anything left to regroup, that is) before hitting the famous Kiddesvej for the first time:

    After the first ascent of Kiddesvej and the first crossing of the finish line, there are three laps of this well-known finishing circuit still to go:

    Flat/downhill/flat on Pedersholms Allé and Ribe Landevej, a steady climb up Gl. Ribe Landevej and Koldingvej, a 180-degree turn at the top and downhill on the other lane, and then up Kiddesvej again.

    The stage win probably won't be decided until the last (fourth) time up - whoever crests the climb first is in pole position and only has to hold on to his lead for the final 800 metres to celebrate a stage victory. But time gaps can and will be created far earlier; the last 40-46 km are difficult to control, and it's even more difficult to keep in touch with the first group (probably hardly worth calling a peloton by the finish). With even harder stages to come in Sweden and especially Norway, this isn't the stage where you can win the ScandiGT, but it is a stage where you have to stay at the front. If you have a bad day here and lose minutes (which is most definitely possible), you'll have to give it your all to make up that time later.

    Post-stage accommodation will be in Trekantsområdet (the "triangle area" Vejle-Kolding-Fredericia), with the next stage starting in Fredericia.
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  • « Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 19:15 by LukasCPH »


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    Re: The Perfect Race
    « Reply #92 on: August 30, 2017, 15:58 »
    10 June 2020: Stage 5
    Fredericia - Odense, 174.7 km

    This stage is the last to directly commemorate the Schleswig Wars, starting in the fortress city of Fredericia.

    Founded in 1650 as Frederiksodde (named after the reigning Danish king) to better control the Little Belt and the crossing from Jutland to Funen, and soon renamed to the Latin Fredericia, it can clearly be seen from an aerial photograph that this was a planned city, with checkerboard streets and the green belt of former fortifications. After the sign-in on Axeltorv, the peloton will do a short neutral section, leaving the city centre through Danmarks Port ("Denmark's Gate"), passing the statue of the "brave country soldier" (Den tapre Landsoldat) commemorating the 1849 Battle of Fredericia. The real start is given at the city's outskirts.

    This stage is somewhat more straightforward than the previous ones, with a mass sprint a likely outcome. But with numerous sights along the route and a few hills thrown in, it's still far from boring. It is also an homage to the oldest Danish one-day race, Fyen Rundt, including much of the parcours of that race.

    The first point of interest is the old Little Belt Bridge (Den Gamle Lillebæltsbro), opened in 1935 as the first bridge connecting the various parts of Denmark. With only two narrow lanes for road traffic next to the railway tracks, this is also a first chokepoint where riders have to be attentive not to drop back too far in the ranks. A break could well get away on the first kilometres since there's an activity sprint in Middelfart after only 9.5 km.

    The next stop is Assens, a picturesque town at the Little Belt and host of the day's first bonus sprint in front of Willemoesgården, named for the Willemoes family that lived here in the 1700s and that included Danish naval hero Peter Willemoes.

    Leaving Assens behind, the route turns inland for some time, passing through Krengerup Gods and its 300 metres of cobbles (with an activity sprint, of course) before eventually reaching Helnæs Bugt and continuing on to Faaborg on the coast of the "Danish South Sea".

    Another picturesque town with an important harbour, Faaborg hosts another bonus sprint, and just outside the town lie the "Fionian Alps" (Fynske Alper), Svanninge Bakker:

    A hilly, sandy heath area that was enforested in the early 20th century, it is now a nature reserve, and we make the most of the terrain by holding two mountain sprints here.

    Going north towards Odense, the feed zone is situated outside Øster Hæsinge from where the team staff can travel directly to the finish, while the race takes a more circuitous route across Vissenbjerg, the third and last mountain sprint of the day. From there on, it's a gentle downhill all the way to Odense.

    Passing the finishline next to the new-built velodrome, there is a last bonus sprint followed by a 8.7 km finishing circuit. It doesn't take in any of the gravel roads sometimes used in Fyen Rundt, but is held on large, straight roads and narrow, winding roads alike, making for a battle between sprint trains and late attackers.

    After the stage, there is a short transfer to Nyborg, the startplace of the next stage and the place of accommodation at Hotel Nyborg Strand well-known from the Tour of Denmark.
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  • « Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 19:15 by LukasCPH »

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    Re: The Perfect Race
    « Reply #93 on: August 30, 2017, 17:56 »
    Popinjay shooting, you say!   :lol

    Live to another day and learn something new!
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .


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    Re: The Perfect Race
    « Reply #94 on: May 10, 2018, 21:17 »
    It's been a while. But the remainder of the ScandiGT is waiting for publication, so here we go with stage 6.

    11 June 2020: Stage 6
    Nyborg - Roskilde, 154.2 km

    After staying at Hotel Nyborg Strand overnight, stage 6 starts in the centre of the medieval city of Nyborg on the island of Funen, at the shore of the Great Belt. Its castle, dating from 1170, was a regular seat of the Danish court.

    The stage finishes in Roskilde, another ancient Danish city. But isn't Roskilde on Zealand, you ask? Yes, it is. Which is why the stage starts with the Great Belt Bridge.

    After Lavbroen (Low Bridge), the peloton reaches the small island of Sprogø with its lighthouse. Once a birds' paradise in the middle of the sea, the island was artificially enlarged in the 1990s to facilitate the building of the Great Belt Bridge (highway) and Great Belt Tunnel (railroad). Today it is dominated by the highway and railway travelling from Lavbroen into the tunnel (rail) and onto Højbroen (High Bridge), respectively.

    At the altitude of 70 metres above sea level, there will be a mountain sprint in the middle of the sea. From there, the road goes down and reaches land again at Halsskov. The town of Korsør on the eastern shore of the Great Belt hosts an activity sprint to signify the end of this travel across the sea.

    Vårby Bakke hosts another mountain sprint en route to Slagelse where we have the first bonus sprint of the day.

    Traversing the lake-rich Vestsjælland, there is a mountain sprint on Suseruphøj overlooking Tystrup Sø.

    The next bonus sprint is held in Sorø. The city was founded as a monastery in 1142. After the reformation, the monastery was turned into a boarding school that eventually developed into Sorø Akademi, probably Denmark's most prestigious school. Many of its pupils went on to become ministers, scientists, writers, or artists.
    After some twenty kilometres with nothing much of not, the grandiosely-named Sjællandske Alper (Zealand Alps) are next.

    Located near Tølløse, the hometown of Michael Rasmussen and Mads Pedersen, Brorfeldebakken, Enghave Bakke, and Maglesø Bakke offer three mountain sprints in quick succession.

    Just after the hills, Kvanløse, with its lovely village church a representative of many Danish village churches, hosts the feed zone, and 10 km later there's another mountain sprint on Elverdamsbakken.

    Nearing Roskilde, we pass close by Sagnlandet Lejre, an open-air laboratory for experimental archaeology[1], and Gammel Lejre with its Viking Age halls (Lejrehallerne).

    The estate of Ledreborg Slot is another sight along the road. The five-kilometre, dead-straight, false-flat Ledreborg Allé hosts the third bonus sprint of the day before we reach the finishing city of Roskilde.
    On the city's outskirts, we pass Dyrskuepladsen, a large area which hosts both a large agricultural show and the even larger Roskilde Festival.

    In the centre of Roskilde, the finish line on Stændertorvet (also hosting the finish of the famous Stjerneløbet[2] every year) is crossed for the first time after 136.5 km.

    The ScandiGT peloton faces three laps of a 5.9 km circuit through the city centre, making good use of the hilly topography.

    At Roskilde Fjord, the circuit passes by the world-famous Viking Ships Museum that houses the five Viking ships that were sunk as barrier ships to block the narrow passage through the fjord at Skuldelev ~20 km to the north in the middle of the 11th century, probably as defense against a sea-borne attack from Norway. Reconstructions of all five ships have been built at the museum harbour, including the large Sea Stallion (Havhingsten).

    There are activity sprints on the slightly-rising Kong Valdemars Vej (alongside Folkeparken) to encourage attacks. The next sights are Roskilde Railway Station, built in 1847 as the western terminus for Denmark's first railway line from Copenhagen, and Roskilde Kloster that has a long history as a medieval Dominican priory, a manor, and eventually a collegiate foundation.

    After passing south of the city centre, the short climb of Maglekildebakken takes the circuit to Skomagergade/Algade leading to Stændertorvet. The last corner comes with 300 metres to go. In 2007, when a similar finish was used for the Danish championships, Alex Rasmussen won the sprint, so although the circuit isn't straightforward, this should still be a stage for the sprinters.

    The next stage will start in Stændertorvet, meaning that there is no transfer at all (except for the short distance to the race hotels in and around Roskilde).
     1. often frequented by yours truly; a.o. I've baked bread there as a kid, built a miniature burial mound (burying a rabbit's leg instead of a human body) and cooked a meal as starting archaeology student, and melted bog iron ore into a lump of iron a bit later
     2. a race too complicated to explain in short; basically 60 riders ride five different circuits starting and finishing on Stændertorvet, and each rider has a different order for the five circuits, meaning that the group you ride with changes all the time - first over the line after completing all five circuits is the winner
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