As the hours ticked by, the riders continued to tackle the arduous gravel paths over the 150km course. The difficulty of the day's self-supported team time trial event became evident as its participants challenged their navigational skills, following their on-screen GPS over unmapped footpaths and through hidden entrances while racing against the clock. The course would take the day's 14 teams over Denmark's roughest, lesser-known gravel and single track paths. This course would come simply to be known as “The Camel."
To comply with the local restrictions set on group events as a result of the current global pandemic, teams of four were set out in five-minute intervals to take on the gruelling course.
At the 30km mark, the first teams started appearing out of the densely forested area and were holding nothing back. As the course hit the rolling hills outside the Copenhagen city limits, the pace was flat out and teams were already struggling to stay together.
After 70km, the gaps between teams had started to shrink as the roads became more punishing. Short sections of tarmac provided brief moments of respite for already blistered hands.
A halfway checkpoint provided a short moment to rehydrate and recover, but the exhaustion was already beginning to show on the faces of the riders.
With punctures, mechanicals, and wrong turns slowing down all progress, the rough, technical paths through the penultimate forested area proved to be the “make or break" moment for some teams. Flakes of dried salt could be seen flying off the backs of the riders as their bodies were being jostled over potholes and fallen branches.
The finishing area revealed the aftermath of physical and mental deterioration that had taken its toll on the riders.