This weekend registration and application opened for the Transcontinental Race. After a few weeks of not being preoccupied by the race too much, mainly due to moving into my new place, the pre-pre-pre-race jitters are now back in tenfold. Messages on Facebook reported about 700 registrations, whereas there will probably only be 200 – 250 places available. So chances are slim, but all we can do now is wait for late December to find out whether or not I got in.
Meanwhile I did start to do some basic route planning. Because when registration was announced, they also revealed the checkpoints and I’m VERY excited! There’s a lot of major changes; aside from the Muur van Geraardsbergen every point is new. INCLUDING the finish line, which will no longer be in Instanbul, but in Canakkale. Reportedly, Instanbul is a terrible place to ride your bike, and Canakkale should be a lot more biker-friendly. And furthermore, you’ll need to take a ferry to get into the city, which I assume is a very relaxed outlook for the last leg of the journey.
The other first check points will keep us in the Alps for a fairly long time. After the Muur van Geraardsbergen we will go straight to the Puy de Dome in France, then on to the Furkapass in Switzerland (which is actually a parcour starting in Grindelwald), and lastly the Passo Giau in Italy before we finally leave the Alps. The last checkpoint will be Durmitor in Montenegro before we start the last stretch to Turkey.
In a way I’m a bit happy both the Ventoux and the Stelvio are out of the race. I feel like those are mountains I will climb at some point anyway, so I’m happy we get to climb lesser known (by me anyway) mountains. And as far as I can tell from my first investigations, the routes are fairly quiet and the views absolutely stunning. I am slightly worried about how long it will take me to get through the Alps, because I’m not exactly the fastest climber. That being said, I do really love to climb, so bring on those scenic routes!
That is if I get in, of course…