The Race has been announced, entries will be flooding in for the 2016 edition of the Transcontinental Race. Spouses, children, and bosses will be sweet-talked into letting riders have the time off and away for this most epic of race.
The race itself sees only one checkpoint stay the same from previous years, that is the start in Geraardsbergen, the rest of the race will be on new roads – having said that it does look like some routes can be remapped from previous years – but not wholesale like in 2015.
Expect to see Instagram feeds featuring race route planning come spring time!
Start // De Muur, Geraardsbergen, BEL
On Saturday 30th July the 2016 Transcontinental (Number 4) will start again in Geraardsbergen.
We thank the people and city of Geraardsbergen for a wonderfully warm welcome and an atmospheric send off for the 2015 race and we welcome their enthusiasm to have us back and make it bigger and better.
CP1 // Puy du Dome, FRA
The first control will be the dormant volcano of the Massif Centra, climbed from the historic city of Clermont Ferrand. The traffic free route to the summit will give riders unbroken views and an incredible sense of scale in their warm up before a very good dose of the alps.
CP2 // Furkapass, CHE
Control number two will include the longest Transcontinental Parcours to date, starting at Grindelwald in the shadow of the Eiger’s North Face, before climbing again on a traffic free link which follows the Eiger Ultra Trail to Grosse Scheidegg – from here its not the end, but barely started as riders will connect to dispatch Grimsel Pass, up and over to the base of the Furkapass.
With its unmistakable galleried road elevated above the mountain side and the hotel Belvedere perched precariously alongside the Rhone Glacier, the source of the river itself. Some may know it also as the place where Tilly Masterson took aim at 007 in Goldfinger.
CP3 // Passo Giau, ITA
Number four will stay in the Alps as an edition for the Grimpeurs and to avoid the manic traffic and frankly scenically un-exciting Po Valley. The parcour will start at the top of the 1918m Passo San Pellegrino and finish on one of the most spectacular passes of the Dolomites, Passo Giau connects Colle Santa Lucia with Cortina d’Ampezzo and tops out at 2236m under the dramatic peak of Nuvolau.
CP4 // Durmitor, MNE
Durmitor Massif is located in Northwestern Montenegro, close to the border with Bosnia to the West and Serbia to the North. The route in and out will be anything but flat, its not called the land of the black mountains for nothing; Montenegro is a wonderful country to cycle in. It has only just started to build its first motorway and the for the 35km stretch, 29km is bridges or tunnels. The parcour will take you from Pluzine to Zabljak and before you enter the national park you will cross lake piva and climb sharply through hairpin tunnels hewn into the rock on unassuming roads traversing 50km past wooden hiking huts and the twisted strata of the peaks taking in Montenegro’s highest pass at 1907m; Sedlo Pass or as the locals call it, the “Saddle of God” – and finishing up at Zabljak.
Arrive // Canakkale, TUR
We bid farewell to Istanbul for number 4 and thank it for being the inspiration for many and we find a slightly calmer finish along the Gallipoli Peninsula to Çanakkale; the closest modern town to the Ancient City of Troy. Steeped in history this is another strategic geographical link between the East and the West, the city has territory in both Europe and Asia and bridges the Dardanelles at its narrowest point to the Antolian Peninsula. The finish is marked by the Saat Kulesi, a five story Ottoman Clock tower, built in 1897 with the funds from the will of the Italian consul and Çanakkale merchant Vitalis.
One thing is for sure, Mike has chosen some spectacular points of interest for the racers, and is really building a race to capture the imagination of racers and dot-watchers alike!
Pictures courtesy of the Transcontinental website