Last year's winner Kristoff Allegaert became the first rider to pass the Stelvio checkpoint on Monday evening, and now has a solid lead in the second TransContinental Race, which left London for Istanbul on the morning of Saturday August 9.
Allegaert, from Belgium, has covered over 1,300 km at the time of writing, and is storming across Europe, ahead of second-placed Josh Ibbett (UK) who is climbing the Stelvio this morning.
First-placed woman Gaby Leveridge is a couple of hundred kilometres from the Stelvio, and some 70km ahead of second-placed Pippa Handley.
Eighty-nine riders set out from London at 8am on Saturday, including seven women, making this year's field almost three times bigger than last year's inaugural edition.
In 2013 only one woman started, round-the-world record holder Juliana Buhring. Her ninth place finish, ahead of the majority of the men, seems to have inspired more women to have a go this year.
Riders in the TransContinental race entirely unsupported, carrying all their gear with them. They choose their own routes between the start and finish with just three compulsory checkpoints on the way.
This year they must visit the Cafe Reveil au Matin, where the first Tour de France began in 1903; the top of Italy's famed Stelvo Pass with its 48 switchbacks; and Mount Lovcen National Park in Montenegro.
Race director Mike Hall says the TransContinental carries on the tradition of the early epic 'Randonneur' races.
He said: “Ordinary people entered those races, there were no superstars and no help from huge teams of helpers in tow. It was show up with a bike and race, and pretty much anyone with the audacity could have a go and the distances covered were vast.”
New checkpoints in this year's race mean riders will have to take a slightly longer route than last year. The first racer is expected in Istanbul on Saturday August 16 or Sunday August 17, and will have covered about 3,500km. However, the way Allegaert is chewing Europe in big mouthfuls, he might just beat his 2013 time of 7 days 13 hours 45 minutes.
For lots more about the TransContinental Race and to follow the progress of the riders, see Transcontinentalrace.com.
The main problem is that many if not most of the pedal-assist cycles that are supposed to do maximum 25 km/h have been illegally modified to go...
That 'boost' runtime is all but useless. Come on, 45 minutes autonomy....how many people do you know who go out for a 45 minutes trail ride?...
No. The jury found him guilty, the judge sentenced him,
I don't usually reply to people making stupid comments, but for the benefit of others I should point out that it's the police who are concerned...
Wait?! Are you suggesting there is specific cycling media for each party that I'm missing (like news outlets)?...
I'd say this is only tangentially related to cycling – the fact that it happened to someone on a bike is just chance. It's more a policing story.
And less than a plurality of brain cells.
I've got a 2020 Scultura 7000e which cost £3,000 (slightly reduced) and came with Shimano Ultegra Di2. It's a fabulous bike - especially now with a...
The most common cause of fatal collisions in Norfolk in 2022 was loss of control (26%), closely followed by failing to look properly (21%).
Once again Rendel you miss the point spectacularly....