Krause crushes old record
“Denmark is not flat”
Rider: Christian Krause, WUCA member #8254
Bicycle Category and Division: Standard Bicycle, mens 18-49
Start date: July 9, 2012 at 0745
End date: July 9, 2012 at 1928
Elapsed time: 11 hours, 43 minutes
Mileage, Average: 20.19mph, 32.49kph
Start location: Turnaround at the end of Oksevej, Padborg, Denmark
End location: Grenen Kunsmuseum at 40 Fyrvej, 9990 Skagen, Denmark
Official: Stig Mondahl
Crew Members: Kenneth Olesen, John Vammen

By Christian Krause, edited by Wendell Hyink

Fresh and Ready
Famous landmark at the finish

What were conditions like?

Heavy rain was forecasted throughout the day, and shifting wind coming from southwest changing to southeast as the route proceeded towards the northern Denmark. The reality was close to the forecast – the first two hours it rained heavily, but it did not really bother me or my equipment or slow me down. The temperature in Denmark at this time of year means that the rain did not cool me down too much, so it was not really a problem besides everything being wet. Even though Denmark has a lot of small flint stones lying on the roads, no flat tire was experienced. The wind was 8 mps (18mph) from behind, and that was the case throughout most of the day. The first 300 kilometers (190 miles) I had the wind from behind, and for about 100 km it came from the side. The wind was a major factor, as was the heavy rain at times, when trying to set this record.

Why did you want to do a record?

I did Race Across America in 2011 on a four-man team, and one of the members on the support crew was the Danish Mads Fabricius. He told me about WUCA and the possibility of setting and beating records, and from that moment on, I was hooked. The challenge of beating the old record across Denmark itself was enough to get me motivated, so across Denmark from South to North faster than 14 hours and 30 minutes was my training goal.

What equipment did you use? Anything special?

I chose to use my normal road bike from Specialized, a Roubaix SL2 model, and not my time trail bike, since my plan was to ride all 400 kilometers in one stretch without stopping at all. I was afraid that the time trail bike would be too aggressive to use over so many hours. All of my training was done on the road bike, so my body was used to this biking position. My Specialized was setup with a pair of Zipp 404 with American Classic hub with ceramic ball bearing and a mix of Shimano Dura Ace 7900 mechanic group and a Ultegra Di2 electric components. I used my regular road handlebar, but did attach a tri bar and used it whenever possible from start to finish, trying to get as aero dynamic as possible to save time. My Zipp 404 wheels were mounted with Vredestein Fortezza Tricomp tires and inflated to 8.5 bar (120 psi). I also used a flat tire protection ribbon from Ciclionea within the tire – was that the reason why I did not experience a flat tire? I used the latest and most functional clothing. The Danish company Xtreme has made a new padding in their top model shorts called SAT Record – a thick padding and a newly innovated shock absorbing layer. I rode almost all of the distance in the saddle made possible due to the new bib-shorts with this fantastic padding. Their former top level bib-short was the one I used in Race Across America – I expect much from this new one: to allow me to go a long distance without getting into problems with my behind.

What did you eat & drink?

I planned to use two bottles on the bike at the same time – one bottle with an electrolyte solution (High Five Zero Xtreme) and another bottle with an energy solution (High Five two-in-one). Over the 11 hours and 43 minutes I drank close to 20 liters of fluid – about 10 liters of each solution. For food I had prepared mashed potato mixed up with fine sliced ham and just a little oil, salt and pepper. The mashed potatoes were made from powder and hot water (no milk, since the milk protein can be hard to digest when biking). The mashed potatoes and ham were then put into small plastic bag in small portions, a knot on the bag and then the follow car could hand out a small bag, whenever I needed food. It worked great! I did the entire stretch with just one break, beside stopping for red traffic lights. Actually it was my follow vehicle that needed to stop for a break, and I chose to take about 1 minute off the bike, drinking a coke and eating some snack food, before jumping on the bike again. I used 18 minutes total on red lights. The intake of food and drinks must have been just on the low side, since no toilet breaks were required, but I guess that worked out fine.

What was the best part?

After the city of Randers I climbed from the sea level to higher ground, and stayed at the same altitude for the next 20 km. I was able to keep the speed around 45-46 kmh (28 mph) for that entire distance – that felt great!

What was the hardest part?

The trip contained about 2000 meters (6600 feet) of climbing – Denmark is not flat – but not dominated by mountains either. Some cities were hard to bike through, because of ascents and descents. Cities like Vejle, Randers and the area around Skanderborg were pretty tough.

Did anything particularly unusual happen?

Since I did it in July, and July is vacation time for both Danish and tourists visiting Denmark, there were quite a lot of people in the cities checking out me and my professional looking follow vehicle (I borrowed the vehicle from Skoda, and this vehicle is often used in connection with bike races – so it did look spectacular).