A very dirty weekend in Jutland #UnsupportedWinterRally
Unsupported Winter Rally is organised by ex.pro Mads Christensen who after his retirement decided to throw himself into a business as one of Denmarks most acclaimed BikeFitters, but Mads is also known as one of the pioneers behind one of the fastest growing cycling categories the past five years “Gravel”. Mads is the person behind the 300K Unsupported Grinder which held its first edition back in august, followed up by a handful of events of shorter distances, to great joy for all us restless gravel heads around our small kingdom, Denmark. This weekend was no exception, where Copenhagen Cycling Club and Friends attended the so called “Unsupported Winter Rally” which was just the adventure we were looking for - and a lot more. The category “rally” was quite telling for what awaited us in Gårlev outside Vejle. It was a grey day with lots of rain in the days up to the race, which resulted in nothing less than a mud bath on the route around Mads hometown. Its not the kind of hardpacked gravel as we know it from the woods around Zealand, its way more technical, and some segments more suitable for mountain bikes you might say, or maybe its just due to plain old lack of skills, but what a beautiful scenery that met us at the countryside outside Vejle on this grey Saturday morning.
It was clear from the beginning that the riders who showed up was there to shred some serious gravel, so the pace was fast from the very beginning, but as with many other gravel races its “business in front, and party in the back”, which was also the case here, and it didn’t take long before a selection was made and top 10 decided in advance - all good, no regrets and we had a blast just being a part of a growing community and do what we love - riding our bikes. The atmosphere at a gravel event is what sets them apart form other bike races, its the community thing that attracts riders to these grassroots events, and it was the same feeling we felt when hanging out with likeminded gravel heads before and after the race, its one big family and nothing like anything else out there. We can highly recommend checking out some of the many routes in the area surrounding Vejle, its not called “Kingdom of Cycling” for nothing, and just recently the legendary +200K road race “Grejsdals Loebet" was complemented with a gravel specific route as well, which is worth a try if you happen to be in Jutland around May next year.
Copenhagen Cycling Club will together with The Dirty Series host a series of gravel events in the new year, so if you’re up for some good times in the woods of Northern Zealand, please make sure to sign up for “The Gravel Series” and support our growing community here in Denmark.
A special thanks goes out to Wahoo Nordics for bringing us safely through a quite challenging route with their trusty bike computers, POC Sports for a clear vision and safe headgear, and Velocio for keeping us warm and comfortable the entire day - we couldn’t do this without your support, thank you.
Photos shot by the one and only Novak Stefanovic from www.elliotthope.studio - enjoy.
If you want to be a part of our community, just show up at one of our weekly rides announced on our Facebook page - everyone is welcome with no exceptions.