The fifth edition of the Transcontinental Race, founded by Mike Hall who was killed in March while competing in the Indian-Pacific Wheel Race, will go ahead this summer.
The 35-year-old was killed in a collision involving a car near Canberra on 31 March as the coast-to-coast race across Australia neared its conclusion.
The Harrogate-born rider’s death on a race that had gripped the Australian public had an impact well beyond the close-knit ultra-cycling community, and was widely reported in the mainstream press.
In a statement published on Facebook on Thursday evening, it was confirmed that this year’s Transcontinental Race will go ahead. It read
A team of Mike’s close colleagues and friends have come together to ensure TCR No5 happens as planned on the 28th July, 2017.
We apologise for our silence while we struggled with the difficult decisions facing us at a very difficult time.
We know Mike would have wanted his race to take place and we know you are all very motivated to race, the difficulty was in how to put on the race without its founder and director.
This team have vowed to uphold the spirit and integrity of the race Mike designed whilst being very aware that we cannot hope to put on the exact race Mike would have given you.
The team is formed of the remaining personnel from TCRNo4, the race sponsors and some of Mike's friends and family.
We have very little time to deliver the race, and we seek your patience, understanding and support.
TCR No5 will be in touch shortly with information on when and how you can pay your remaining entry fee.
A race manual will be forthcoming.
We understand the need for this to be delivered in a timely manner however, this year particularly, safety is at the forefront of our minds and we seek your patience while we ensure this meets our requirements.
We understand you may have many questions. For now please bear with us and wait to hear more news.
We will be in touch again as soon as we are able. Thank you for your continued patience, TCR No5 team. Best start training then ...
A celebration of Hall’s life took place in Harrogate earlier this month, and he will also be remembered the weekend after next in Mid-Wales where he lived with his partner, Anna.
The weekend of 2-4 June will see a celebration of Hall take place, based around the village of Abbeycwmhir, where he lived.
The Saturday will see a ride from Abbeycwmhir to Rhayader then Cwmystwyth and ending at Ty Mawr farm in Ysbyty Cynfyn.
It covers 20 miles – a fraction of the distance Hall would cover in a day while racing – but will take place in one of his favourite areas to ride in, and one his family want to share.
Saturday afternoon and evening will see his friends “provide beer, music, food and a chance to swap stories over the campfire.”
If you plan to take part, you should register – head here, where you will also find full details of the plans for the weekend.
Hall’s friend, Guy Kesteven, will be riding down from Yorkshire with his ashes, leaving on the Thursday evening.
He said: “I never got time to do a properly long ride with him when he was alive, and frankly if I had I would have wheel sucked, whined and basically got him to do as much work as possible.
“Instead I'm going to have to grind out 350km+ while he just sits there in a tin no doubt chuckling and looking puzzled from wherever he's wandering now as to why I'm finding every hill and mile beyond the first two hours absolute murder.
“Still Pat [Hall’s mother] and I thought that taking his remains by bike would be a fitting way to get him down to Wales for one last party so he's going to put me through the wringer one last time.”
He continued: “If anyone wants to join Mike for a bit on his last ride or just say goodbye en route then it'd be great to see you.
“I've not got a definite route and there may be deviations as my legs dissolve because I'm a short course MTB rider not an epic rouleur. H
“However Mike will have a spot tracker on him for those who want to rendezvous en route or just follow his final journey in the way they followed so many of his other adventures.
“More details to follow but that's my colours nailed to the mast anyway.”
He added the following social media hashtags: #mikeslastride #nothingworthdoingisevereasy
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.