Do you remember beautyfull Vipavska walley and Palba runda from this january?
Well, we will ride in this part of the world again. Only this time in a counter clockwise direction, and on much bigger loop which will include so scenic (IRL) Kras region.
This is a beautiful IRL course featuring most popular roads on Kras. Right now it’s exactly the time of the year when these roads are very popular for continental riders due warm mediteranic climate and rolling terain perfect for gathering of early spring base miles. Do not expect any long and straight flats here. This is a landscape made for rolling and twisting roads. Yet, do not expect crasy wild climbs and descends either. This is simply constantly waving form of riding on the roads that are constantly in a slight curve left or right or up or down. Time flies here fast.
The course is relatively easy until kilometer 65 when we hit the main climb of the day, Stjak climb. It’s a nice, regular 5k @6% climb. Not the hardest on the world, yet long enough for climbers to attack and try to shake off from heavier and punchier riders. However, even if selection will be made there, there is still some distance to cover until finish line, and if by some scenario groups come together before the end it will be an uphill sprint to the line. Namely, our fondo ends in a super scenic Kras village named Vipavski Križ.
Unfortunately we won’t be able to see it in RGT, so here is a picture to imagine the place and to put it into your list of must visits this summer.
Here comes the ugly, the bad, and the brute. TopFit Flanders. Real annual event of local cycling club called TopFit.
The one for the strongmens. Real classic, just like real tour of Flanders. Running entirely in the walley between two alpine chains, yet all but flat. Uper photo captures the landscape perfectly. Like real Flanders, TopFit course is circling forth and back, left and right, riding over every single hellingen or local hill in the walley. Most of them are short and punchy, too short for pure climbers, these can be grinded over with pure force and brute. Just look at the profile below and count those dark red strips. There is enough of them to bite into the legs of even the strongest of the fittest. The one who wants to win this, has to be strong enough to survive until end and very punchy to finish first a top of the Bled castle.
One of the protagonists and main motor in TopFit gang, Miha Kosmač – Kosi, who spent tremendous effort to edit this twistling-knotted course for perfect RGT user experience, has prepared special table with all climbs along the course. He gave them star rating, similar to Paris-Roubaix pave rating with one star for the easiest and five stars for the hardest. Anyone challenging the course can have a proper information what was done, whats coming up, and whats still left to ride. Here is the list of “gorenjska hellingens”:
Helling voorbij Legenda
De Kerk Heuvel
Gobovce – Podbrezje
Muur de Žeje
Onder de Brug Dobruša
Breznica Climb (Edelweiss)
Grot Zaka Climb
Triglavska cesta (Na Planiko)
With 1.640m of altitude gain in 98km it is third hilliest course in this serié. As already mentioned, the climbs here are not very long, and those longer 1.5-2.0km are not that steep on average, but they are numerous, dispersed throughout the course and most of them include some painfull steep ramps. Think of climbs like famous Patterberg or Oude Kwaremont in Belgium, these are like this. The entire fondo is like later part of real Flanders. With one exeption, the finish line. No flat run in here, instead you can expect 75 seconds long, burning, smoking, painfull grind up the Bled castle.
After fairly flat Šentjur power runda, its time to climb again. Osmica (eight in english) is similar runda to Barjanka which was the second runda riden in early november 20′.
Althought not flat, its easy ride for most until km 27. At this point we start to climb for some 5 kilometers, with 3.5km of pure Smrečje climb, just shy of 6% gradient average. Not the hardest in the world, but hard enough to split the front group and try to finish in front of heavier trailing panzer wagens. What makes this weeks runda attractive is the clash between climbers and more classic riders. There is just enough long and steady downhill road, for heavier guys having a chance to catch back those running goats upfront. All they need is a bit of coordination and cooperation.
Heading to charming Dolenjska region this weekend. The land of famous Cviček wine, the one that makes people happy and smiling. No where else you can get so much hospitality and warmth on countryside as in Dolenjska.
Back to our medio fondo course. It’s one of the easiest parcours’s in this serié. With just 850vm along the route, this isn’t particulary hard one, albeit it’s not that flat at all. Because of undulating terain all along the way, it’s actually very open type of race, where it’s hard to predict what type of rider will excell. Definetly sprinter won’t be in a big trouble by climbing on this one. The longest climb of the day, Oštrc climb, was already featured in wednesday Dolenjska runda few weeks ago, and has been proved to be easy to survive, since the average is only around 3-4% and there are no steep ramps at all. It is only last 15km that provides some short and steep ramps where puncheurs could attack and succeed, else where its simply open to a wide array of riders. All they need to do is, to manage to be in the break away of the day and finish over the line first.
New start time of fondo series on Saturdays is 10:00 CET!
Medio fondo “par excellence”. A true fondo style of course traveling around Celje basin, cresting into two distinct river walleys and finishing above Celje city at the picturesque ancient Celje castle.
The course it self is very demanding. With more than 1700vm of climbing in ~100km of distance is the second most hilly course in this 10 week long serié. Climbers will love it. There are five distinct climbs along the course and all are nice climbs with gradients between 5-9%. No extreme gradients here, almost no red colour indicating steep slopes on a profile, just regular nice roads, but with significant climbing volume.
The climbs acording to popular Strava segments runs in following order:
The first hour of the fondo is flat and provides many small launch pads for a break away to establish. If a non climber wants to take a win here, he has to go away early, build decend lead before first climb and than still have terribly good day on a bike.
After the hitting the lower slopes of first climb, the bunch will desintegrate into many dispersed one-two-three rider groups that will very likely stay appart for the rest of the fondo. Only the strongest group might stay together until penultimate climb, and if not before, even this group will fall apart on that climb. If, by some strange combination, a small group of two or three riders still come together into the Celje city, than there will be the last climb where the strongest rider will outclimb others. No chance of a sprint clash here. The course is simply too demanding for people to stay together until finish line.