Although pre-determined by locations of natural beauties and touristic centers, checkpoints are actually pretty evenly and logically dispersed on the route. There’s a full course lunch awaiting you at CP3 during the first day and a common resting place at CP4 for the first night, that should suit all but the most dedicated riders – the ones that are trying to outsmart the stopwatch.

From then on, the tactics will determine the remainder of the individual logistics but another full course lunch, this time at CP6, which also marks the halfway point of the route, should again suit most if not all of the ultra-racers and randonneurs alike. Riders in the brevet category will find it convenient to plan a short nightly rest at CP7, while the quickest racers will already be somewhere along the route towards CP8.

CP7 to CP8 is the “all hell breaks loose” part of the route, with three mountain passes and a highest peak of the whole route but basically everyone should be able to reach CP9 at the end of the third day and have a good night’s rest there before a relatively easy fourth day and finish in the evening. Quicker riders will finish during the day, while the quickest ones will have already finished on the third night or earlier.

The roads are a mixture of main, regional and local roads, 99% surfaced with asphalt (of varying condition but just fine for 25+ mm tyres) and most are not too busy traffic-wise, except the urban Sarajevo bypass and the portion from Bjelašnica to Jajce (section of the route from CP9 to CP10 to CP11). Also, the road from Trebinje to Tjentište (CP5 to CP6) is a bit narrow, so caution is required.

Apart for some short and irrelevant tunnels throughout the rute, there’s a 2100 m long modern tunnel with lighting and sidewalks between CP5 and CP6 and a series of 39 successive tunnels (some short, some long and lit, one long and dark) just prior to CP7. It will be obligatory to go into “full night mode” for the tunnels, regardless of the time of day you happen to reach them. Also, it’s advisable to use common sense and keep track of what’s going on behind you prior to entering any of the tunnels.

Also, normally there’s a multitude of petrol stations and cafes along the route, but a 100 km portion of the route between CP4 and CP5, specifically between Čapljina and Trebinje, follows Ćiro Bike Trail – an old railway converted to a road and cycling route, with no restocking options and quite intimidating if riding alone at night, except there’s a very nice hotel/restaurant in Ravno, as an oasis at about a halfway point of the aforementioned section.

For a virtual ride and full route synopsis from start to finish, continue to the checkpoints presentation.