What Exactly Is The Transcontinental Race?

What Exactly Is The Transcontinental Race?

Endurance cycling races aren’t exactly a new thing. For years, cyclists from across the world have competed in various stage events in a variety of countries, with the most popular being the Tour de France.

While there are certainly a handful of well-known cycling races in the world, the Transcontinental Race has quickly become a very renowned event, drawing more and more participants each subsequent year, along with some newer race categories and rules as well.

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at what makes the race unique, how it works, and where it takes place.


The Transcontinental Race (TCR) began in 2013. Organized by endurance cyclist Mike Hall from England, the TCR had a handful of contestants during its first edition, topping out at around 30 riders.,

Designed to be an ultra-endurance race, the TCR is noted for being one of the most difficult in the world. Although each edition is different, the difficulty of the race remains the same each year, regardless of where the checkpoints are set up.

The TCR has grown in popularity each year, with over 1,000 riders undertaking the grueling event in 2016, with just 350 successfully completing it.


The TCR was created to not only be difficult, but different. Unlike other races that are timed stages, the TCR has one clock running the entire time: from when you start, and when you finish. This makes it an individual time trial by definition.

Another unique aspect is that while there are always four checkpoints (known as "controls") the rider has a large amount of freedom as to how to get to each checkpoint. While there are a few roads that are off limits, the rider has numerous options for how to get from one point to the other.

Biker on a The Transcontinental Race 2017

This places a larger burden on the rider in terms of planning. The rider must spend a large amount of time going over various maps in multiple countries, planning their route in between stages, while also planning on how long they will rest, and where. This certainly adds to the adventure overall.

In addition to the individual aspect, all riders must also only obtain food, accommodations, and repairs from commercially-available sources, rather than private entities or individuals.


The routing of the TCR changes from year to year, but there is a small sense of continuity. The first two races started in London, while the first three finishes were in Istanbul, Turkey. The last three races have started in Geraardsbergen, Belgium.

As for the 2017 race, the checkpoints included Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Romania, in that order.


The TCR is certainly a fascinating event, and has a certain element of danger that also helps to set it apart from other races. Although the 2017 edition has passed, we encourage you to keep an eye out for the 2018 edition, and even follow along with riders via GPS on the TCR’s website.

Enter your text here...

This post was last updated on June 5th, 2018 at 02:11 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

Leave a Comment: