Monday, 6 July 2015

Race Manual Intro. A good read. Courtesy of Mike Hall, race director.

Introduction Welcome to the Final issue of the race manual.

The race is only 3 weeks away. If everything is going to plan you will be finishing off your last few big efforts and bringing together the last elements of your race plan. There is a little bit of time left yet, but we are nearly there. Transcontinental have recently met with the City of Geraardsbergen and we are very excited about the start. A midnight start on the muur and cobbles by torchlight will be quite an atmosphere. Riders will have got to grips with the predicament of how to play the first 12, 24 or even 36 hours. All I can say is its a long race and there is no one perfect strategy. Those who look after themselves and their bike, have a good plan and keep calm will, if they are strong, prevail. The start should at least mix it up a bit and make in interesting viewing to see who takes off at the start and who becomes stronger as they go.

Other news since the last issue is that renowned professional photographer and veteran of 9 tours Camille McMillan will be joining us as the official race photographer this year. If any of you have sponsors who are keen to commission pictures of you in race mode, they can get in touch with @camillemcmillan via twitter or instagram and tell him your race number.

Also this year, as you may have heard, our two times race winner Kristof Allegaert will be taking a year our from Transcontinental for some ultra racing in Siberia. Kristof has made quite the impression the last two years in Transcontinental and that has brought him the exciting opportunity of a fully funded and supported supported ultra racing trip. We have become rather good friends with the man-machine from Kortrijk so while it is a shame that we will miss racing him to Istanbul ourselves in the car, it does guarantee that we will have a new winner this year which is exciting. It also shows that the international ultra racing community regard the race and its winner highly and there are opportunities out there for those that shine.

As Transcontinental’s aim is to provide not only an adventure but also an accessible route to ultra racing - which can be a very resource heavy pursuit and difficult for riders to get established in at a competitive level - it is great to see veterans our race getting noticed for sponsorships and opportunities like this. It is also great to see past racers of TCR tearing it up in other races like the Trans Am Bike Race (Adrian O’Sullivan) and the Highland Trail 550 (Josh Ibbett, Rickie Cotter) as well as seeing pictures all year of riders in TCR caps riding hundreds of miles of Audax. A special mention should also go to Gaby Leveridge, 2014 veteran of TCR who has rocketed from 4th cat to a professional team and riding in the national champs within a very short space of time. Quite a story and inspiration for us all. For some Transcontinental will be a one off, others might come back again as a ride or like many this year as a volunteer like Eelco Weijmans, Chris Phillips.

Meanwhile we will see past riders we know of other races; Dave Goldberg, Franziska Kuhne and others who come to ride or volunteer on the TCR as well as all the partners and friends of racers who have got involved and made this their adventure too. It is so great to see many of the same names and faces coming up at rides and races throughout the year. It makes being part of this community so rewarding for us too.

 It has been sad for us to hear of injuries also as the race has come nearer, and for those who cannot start, like veterans Matthias Mueller, Pippa Handley and many other new riders to be, we will miss you and get well soon.

I would also like to take this opportunity again to thank all the volunteers and those companies who support what we are trying to do. All the volunteers have been amazing and will continue to be throughout the race. Whenever you meet them show some appreciation for what they are doing. Its their efforts and enthusiasm as well as the approach that the riders bring to the race, which creates such a wonderful community around this race. We finally have our Official TCR T-Shirt available. This is a hand printed T-Shirt, made exclusively for PEdAL ED and TCR by Anna Prints with the highest standards in ethical and ecologically sound sources, methods and materials. Tee's are available at Since Anna will be captaining one of our race vehicles she is making pre-ordered shirts available for collection in Istanbul.

I have one more favour to ask of you before the race starts… Please let your family and friends in on the adventure, to support you, follow you and cheer on, but explain to them also the meaning of self-supported and to refrain from offering assistance. Self reliance is not just a mechanism by which we level the playing field and create a credible comparison of the relative abilities of our athletes, it is also a construct for personal adventure which defines the Transcontinental and its finishers. You absolutely should look after the safety of yourself and others and it is the right and human thing to do to want to help other riders and your friends to want to help you. Sometimes however people don’t need an easy way out. They need a little trouble and a few problems and to overcome them with their own resourcefulness and resolve. People will find a way if they have no choice and in many ways you are doing them a greater favour not to burst the bubble of their adventure with a convenient solution. Its a fine balance, but in the end the satisfaction of doing this race all for yourself is very hard to beat.

I will leaver you with the words of Jack Thurston, writer an broadcaster who love many were captivated by following the race last year… “I Fell for the Transcontinental because its a daring and thoroughly modern take on how bike racing used to be back in the ‘heroic’ era. By putting the lost virtues of adventure and self-reliance back at the heart of a bike race, the Transcontinental is a breath of fresh air in the increasingly bland, commercialised world of modern cycle sport” See you on the wall of Grammont.

Mike Hall Race Director The Race Manual This is race manual 2015 Issue 2, this is the go-to place for all

No comments:

Post a Comment