It’s been a while since I’ve done something a wee bit epic, so with only minimal consideration I said “yes” when a good mate (Fraser Waters of Happy Cog) asked if I’d be up for the 2015 Transcontinental Race.
Organised by Mike Hall, this year will be the third incarnation of the race, this time with a completely new depart. Instead of London, it will now start from somewhere in Flanders heading to the finish in Istanbul with only four checkpoint along the route; Mount Ventoux (France), Sestriere (Italy), Vokovar (Croatia) and Kotor (Montenegro). Circa 4,000kms in total.
The race is held in the style of ITT (Independent Time Trial) with riders expected to be self sufficient along the route, relying on their own route planning and with no outside support. In addition there will be some interesting mandatory sections such as climbs to the summit of Mont Venteux and Mont Lovcen with some Belgian pave and strade bianche thrown into the mix!
As we’re riding as a pair, we’ve been thinking hard about bikes and kit and have general plan sorted out. First question was bikes and having considered doing custom Shand builds, we’ve settled on standard Stoaters as they really do tick all the boxes. We’ve also had enquiries from fellow competitors so we’re not alone in our thinking about a suitably tough, lightweight mile-muncher of a bike.
I’ll post more about our preparations in due course, but having committed to posting this here, there’s no going back now. Istanbul, here we come!