The Transcontinental was born out of my experience on the 2012 World Cycle Race and the growing desire by myself and many others to see an unsupported alternative to the longer distance ‘Ultra’ Cycling races, such that it could rival the so called toughest bike races on earth, without the associated cost of admission. It is also influenced in style by the satellite tracked bikepacking races, most of which have traditionally taken place on dirt or gravel, but the autonomous format with no route and a small number of controls also make it more akin to a longer Brevet or Audax.
In 2013 thirty riders from many countries and backgrounds lined up on Westminster Bridge and each made it their own. Some raced at a fantastic speed, almost reaching the finish before we did, some took it as a ride, others made it up as they went along, went sightseeing or completely off the beaten track. Most arrived a bit dirtier, with a big smile on their face and plenty of stories to tell. In short, there’s no wrong way to ride the Transcontinental, its whatever you want it to be. Sure there are rules, but we try to keep them to a minimum and just ask you to play fair.
In 2014 we keep the iconic Stelvio for another year but swap out the Muur for a visit to one of Paris’s lesser known districts. Now a cabaret bar and not much to look at, you’ll scarcely believe that the Cafe au Reveil Matin was where the world’s biggest bike race first set off, but it was and there’s history there. Tourists can plot a line in down the Champs Elysees and try their luck at the Arc de Triomphe if they wish or marvel at the Eiffel tower on a Sunday morning. Then its Brevet Card marked and onward to the Alps. We also have the addition of a third checkpoint in 2014 of the climb to Mount Lovcen which will give you stunning views of the Adriatic and the world heritage site of Kotor and Risan Bay. In combination with CP1 this will make the second edition a completely different race for returning veterans.
The Transcontinental has certainly been a hugely rewarding race to stage, largely down to the enthusiasm and character of the riders who have taken part and so for taking up the gauntlet in 2014 the Adventurists and I doff our collective caps to you and look forward to seeing you in the summer.