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On your own. This year's Transcontinental will demand much independent thinking of its riders.
If you were one of the thousands who avidly followed the heroics of Mike Hall et al last year in their race around the globe during the WCR Grand Tour, then we have news of a very special forthcoming event that should be of interest to you.
Two weeks of two-wheeled, human-powered, sleep-deprived talking to yourself, with little but Mother Nature and the purr of chain sliding over cog to keep you company along roads sandwiched by the Thames and Bosphorus. "Unmatched... Unconstrained...", but perhaps most importantly, "Unsupported."
Welcome to the Quick Energy Transcontinental Race.
Start line - London. The flag drops 3rd of August.
Finish line - Istanbul. The winner is the rider who gets there first.
This is not a race that will require you to put everything else in your life on hold for half a year. You could start slowly breaking in a new Flyer over the coming months and have a tilt at it. It might even coincide with your summer holidays.
Wait. It could be your summer holidays.
Bring what you need, or forage for it en route.
Plan with having lots of new anecdotes about the Kindness Of Strangers.
And get your head down when and where you like, so long as it's not in the back of a support vehicle.
Checkpoint? The Stelvio Pass definitely lies somewhere between London and Istanbul... Jussarian.
Because while the TCR clearly resembles a Race, and will have a Winner, it is conceived foremost as an Adventure, and will incorporate all of the incalculable extra challenges which come with riding solo.
Put together by The Adventurists, with WCR Grand Tour Champion and World's Fastest Cycling Circumnavigator Mike Hall installed as Race Director, the Transcontinental demands of its participants only the desire to get to Istanbul briskly by bike, along with reasonable levels of physical fitness.
It is not a race that anybody will be excluded from due to financial or professional concerns. The entry fee is £95.
Organizers estimate that the fastest cyclists will take about a fortnight to negotiate the 2000 mile long course. To this end, the Finish Party is pencilled in for the 17th. Of August, of course.
Sounds like a fairly do-able daily average of 150 miles or so, right? Maybe in springtime, and maybe on the flat. But most of Europe is fairly warm in August.
And a handful of checkpoints along the way will divert riders away from the paths of least resistance, and up into the rarefied summits of the landscape-rich but traditionally oxygen-poor Alps...
“We all believe in the need for a seat of the pants race with no handholding”, says Hall.
“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.”
You have been warned.
August 3rd, 2013 London.
Presented by Quick Energy