This weekend sees the start of the first ever Transcontinental Race. At 8am on Saturday 3rd August cyclists will set off from Westminster Bridge heading for Istanbul. Riders from all over Europe will be racing unsupported and via any route they choose across the continent with the fastest expected to finish inside 2 weeks.
The 2000 mile race has 40 riders from 17 countries taking part-including a Turkish cyclist.
Following a controlled start at Westminster Bridge the race will officially start as they pass the Elephant & Castle roundabout. Riders will choose which roads to take and what bushes to sleep in but a ‘strategically placed’ checkpoint at the Muur van Geraardsbergen in Flanders and another at the top of the famous Stelvio Pass will set a minimum distance of around 2000 miles and enforce some altitude gain as they climb to the roof of the Eastern Alps. The emphasis is on fast and light so those who leave their spare pants at home will have a clear advantage.
Experienced long distance racers participating include Richard Dunnett from the UK (2nd in World Cycle Race) Juliana Buhring from Italy (World Record Holder for fastest Circumnavigation) and Australian Shaun Timberlake.
About the Race 2013
QuickEnergy are presenting the race and it will be staged by adventure travel company The Adventurists in partnership with the 2012 round the world bicycle race and 2013 Tour Divide winner Mike Hall who will be race director.
Hall was backed by QuickEnergy on his round the world race and is also a veteran of the Mongol Rally and the Rickshaw Run; both overland adventures created and run by The Adventurists.
We all believe in the need for a seat of the pants race with no hand-holding
Together we can deliver something beautifully hard at the pointy end and an unconstrained adventure at the other end yet with the right level of organisation and coverage where it counts
He believes that the format will give a very similar experience to the World Cycle Race “but a bit shorter so more people can fit it into real life.”
The adventure is suited to those on a budget. Low cost airlines operate between Istanbul, London and the rest of Europe and the entry fee of £95 is less than some weekend events giving far more suffering for your pound.
Hall sees this as part of the appeal of an unsupported racing format for riders and the audience who will be able to watch the race unfold online with live tracking and regular updates:
We want people to be able to grab a bike and just go, no support vehicles, no teams of helpers and no costly logistics or exorbitant entry fees. Just a bike, a map and a vague sense of direction will do, plus living like a hobo is much faster than staying in hotels.
Rider places will be limited and entrants will be invited to attend preparation workshops at The Adventurists’ HQ in the lead up to the event. Entries will open shortly via www.transcontinentalrace.com and interested riders can sign up to receive race entry information first on the website.
EVENT: Launch of the QuickEnergy Transcontinental Race 2013
TIME: 08:00 riders depart
LOCATION: Westminster Bridge