Dirty Jutland






Dirty Jutland is one of the oldest Scandinavian gravel events. Since 2018, Uggi and his team have invited riders to ride along the windy west coast of Denmark. 900 riders signed up for this year’s event. Many riders participate in the 130 km “One Thirty” course, some brave souls tackle the entire 460 km XL from the German border. I will share my story from riding the original 223 km Grinder from Klitmøller to Skagen.

This is my race setup for the Dirty Jutland. You can see the whole setup if you click on the thumbnail above. (Unfortunately, there are not many photos of me during the race.) Photo: Andreas Ohldieck.

Splits on in the windy West Coast

While going south of Norway, I expected a warmer climate but it’s quite cold here. The northern breeze is chilling us to the bone. Only 11 riders remain in the front group. Out of the 400 riders starting the Gravel Grinder signed up for the event, we have narrowed down the group to the last few. However, we still have 150k to go.

On Friday morning, I took the ferry from Larvik to Hirtshals with Andreas and Anders, two riders I coach in 101percent Training. Today, Andreas had a strong start to the race but lost the front group with a puncture. Anders should be another few minutes behind him.

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The group is dominated by nine Danish riders, five from Willing Able. They are pushing a strong pace, as we have been having the whole day. But one fellow countryman is here, Vebjørn Rønning. We rode as teammates in the World Championship last fall. He also raced DNF GRVL two weeks ago in the snow. Now we are here in the cold Danish spring. I felt strong in the beginning, but it’s harder now. The tailwind helps with the pace but not with the drafting. There’s no place to hide.

In the first part, we rode many sections of beautiful forest roads. This is another group behind. Photo: Eventfotografi/Dirty Jutland.

There are many challenges to overcome

The route has led us along the beach, on forest roads, country roads, through towns, and mostly on gravel. It’s beautiful and fun. It’s pancake flat. The many twists and turns, but the sharp flints are the biggest challenges.

Many people experienced punctures, but I didn’t, thanks to my Challenge Getaway XP 40. Photo: Eventfotografi/Dirty Jutland


A rider in the group hits something and loses control of his bike. He’s down, and with the high speed, it’s almost impossible for the riders behind to avoid hitting him. It’s a domino effect, and I have first-row access. It’s too late to break. I’m in the middle of the gravel road, and a bike is flying towards me. Another rider on my right crashes into the ditch, and in a quick reaction, I manage to find a tiny gap, dodging the bike and the riders to my right. I’m through! Five riders are down. Vebjørn is one of them. None are seriously injured, and the fallen riders tell us to keep going, so we do. It’s a survival of the fittest. 7 riders left in the front.

One of the most iconic parts, when we were riding on a single track along the beach before we had to climb up the stairs. Photo: Eventfotografi/Dirty Jutland.

It’s getting hectic

We are passing midway, and soon, we catch the riders from the 130k route. This event is inclusive, and you’ll find riders from all levels. The many, some less experienced, riders create traffic jams in the narrow sections. I am doing my best to keep up with the riders, but I have to chase and maneuver gently (and sometimes not so gently) between riders. It’s a chaos. 

With 900 riders on the course, it was sometimes a lot of traffic. Photo: Eventfotografi/Dirty Jutland

I hit a rock, and it feels like my front tire is out of air. Panic sets in. Could it be a puncture? As we turn onto an asphalt road, I slow down to check, and to my relief, it’s not. But as I check my tire, a gap opens, and the leading riders pull away. I am getting dropped. I take a deep breath and summon all my strength to make a final attempt to catch up. I sprint with all my might and start counting down the seconds. 50 seconds…49 seconds…48…47. My legs feel heavy and full of lactate, and I can barely push the power. My heart is pounding, but I refuse to give up. I keep pushing, and finally, I start closing down the gap. The wind is howling in my ears as I continue to sprint. I can see the leading riders getting closer and closer. I give one final push.

Finally, I make it as we hit the gravel. Surprisingly, two fellow Norwegian riders from Sandnes are catching up. One of the riders had an early puncture, and they both stopped to fix it. They must have been chasing for hours, but they made it—impressive.

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You don’t get much draft in tailwind on a gravel road. I am still in pain after my last effort. We are heading towards the sea. I had heard about this section, and now we are finally here. We are riding on a 10km stretch of hard-packed beach. It’s an amazing road! The sand is so hard you can ride your road bike. Some cars also drive on it, but you need to be careful because there are occasional patches of loose sand where your front wheel can get stuck, and you may lose control. We also cross rivers and water pits on the beach as we maintain a high pace.

But I am in pain. I am losing the wheel in front of me. The gap is opening up again—5 meters, then 10, so 15. I don’t have another acceleration in my legs to get back up. I have to realize that I will not see the first eight riders again before the finish.

I team up with Kristoffer after getting dropped on the beach. Photo: me.

Finding my rhythm

Kristoffer from Sandnes also drops, and we team up. We don’t talk much, but we have a common understanding. We are both exhausted, but we are determined to reach the finish line. Eventually, riders from the 130k group start to pass us. I try to keep up, but I am completely exhausted right now. I haven’t felt this depleted in a long time. My heart rate is high, and I think my body is a little unwell, but I have no choice – I must reach the finish line. There’s no one to pick me up, and my bags are already in Skagen. I have to keep going, and if I can just keep up with some of these riders, it will be over much quicker than if I ride alone.

Three strong masters pass me. They have a good pace but are not trying to drop one another. It’s a perfect trio to follow. The train is moving, and we are getting closer to the end, kilometer by kilometer. Now we catch Kristoffer, too.

The last hours are long. I try to focus on the tasks ahead, my biggest being following the trio. I also make sure I drink and keep eating. I am about to empty my bottles, and the hydration pack has been empty for a while already. I would have stopped at the feed zones, but I didn’t risk getting dropped by the group.

I count down each of the last 20 km. It’s a test of patience, but we are closing in on the final kilometer. Five kilometers to go. We turn into a narrow cycle path crossing some scenic nature. It’s beautiful, but I am not able to enjoy it. Instead, I am getting dropped by the group. They are disappearing, but I don’t mind anymore. I know I am going to make it to the finish in Skagen.

The last 20 km had some really cool sections like this one. Photo: Eventfotografi/Dirty Jutland

Skagen – here we are!

We are in the Northernmost town in Denmark. And there it is—the finisher banner! I cross the line, tired yet satisfied. Despite my weak last hours, I hold on to 10th place in the Grinder!

I love the atmosphere in the finish area after an epic gravel ride. The riders are all exhausted but happy. The organizer serves burgers, chips, beers, cokes, and coffee. Food has never tasted better! Andreas and Anders are joining my table and sharing their stories from the day. We all agree it has been a ride to remember. This was epic! Thank you, Dirty Jutland. We will be back!

READ ALSO: Unbound Gravel 200 – 2023

From the organizer:

Dirty Jutland is a gravel exercise experience on the west coast of Jutland. We offer 3 challenges that start in Blåvandshuk, Klitmøller, and Slettestrand, with the goal at the top of Denmark, in Skagen. The route is unique, has a fantastic nature, and is arranged so everyone can join.


  • Felt Carbon Breed
  • DT Swiss GR1400
  • Sram Force AXS eTap 46T/44-10T
  • Challenge Getaway XP 40
  • Fizik Vento Ferox
  • CCN Sport
  • SRM power pedals
  • Joe's No-Flats
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