Sooooo.... About that last Transcontinental post....... Well I may have altered my plans for next year after finding out that the first ever Transcontinental style race will be taking place in Ireland next year.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the TransAtlanticWay. It’s a 2500km one stage, self-supported, road-bike race between Dublin and Cork via The Wild Atlantic Way.
The race will begin on 17th June 2016 outside Trinity College, Dublin. From here, each rider must navigate their own route to the first checkpoint in Derry. From Derry, racers head south on a designated route of The Wild Atlantic Way towards the second checkpoint, Kinsale town. From here it’s back to the racer's own navigation to the finish line at Blarney Castle, Co. Cork.
Despite being shorter than the Transcontinental, I'm under no illusion that it will be any easier. With the fierce weather of the west to deal with, along with cycling into the prevailing wind for the majority of the race, I think this will be one hell of a challenge and quite an adventure.
I'm delighted to be part of such an amazing inaugural event and I promise that there will be no more changes to my plans. Mainly because I have already paid the entrance fee ...
Check it out, my name is on the roster already :)
So what's the craic with the Transcontinental No. 4 picture you ask? Well I've mentioned a few times that I had big plans for next year. Those plans are to hopefully compete in the fourth edition of this insanely brilliant race.
For those you who don't know what the Transcontinental is, I'll briefly explain. It's a self-supported, non-stop bicycle race with no set route. Each rider must visit mandatory control points but beyond that you are allowed to freely to plot whatever route will suit you best. Each edition has varied slightly in length and course. So far, they were all in and around the 4,000km mark, TCR. No. 4 is no different.
With the recent reveal of the controls for TCR No.4 it wasn’t long till the plotting of routes commenced. I think Darren Franks picture below of the route sums it up perfectly.
But Ciarán I notice there are a lot of 'lumpy bits' in this photo. Why on earth would you want to do such a race?
Good question there, made-up person. To be honest, it’s a race I have wanted to do for a long time. It caught my attention from the very first edition. Its non-stop, multi-day aspect was something quite new to me, as I only did day-long races back then. I was instantly hooked and have followed each race since. During our bicycle tour this year, we tailored our route to arrive in Croatia around the same time as the TCR No. 3 would be passing by. With some strategic dot-watching, we were able to bump into three of the riders - Gareth Baines, Stephane Ouaja and Paul Toigo. It was great to hear first hand what the race experience was like. It's one thing reading about it and following blogs, but sitting down and chatting with the riders, mid-race, was invaluable in coming to the decision to enter the TCR No. 4.
So now that my applictaion is in, there very little else I can do but wait - something I am really shit at. So instead I'll go cycle my bike over some mountains to put down the time .....
ar an rothar
endurance cyclist, adventurer and usually hungry