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 annaprints.co.uk. Since Anna will be
captaining one of our race vehicles she is making pre-ordered shirts available for collection in
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
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
See you on the wall of Grammont.
The Race Manual
This is race manual 2015 Issue 2, this is the go-to place for all