2018 Ultra-Distance Bikepacking Races

The TransAtlantic Way

What are your race plans for next year? Having done the TransContinental Race (TCR) three times (2014-16) and taking a break from racing this year, my major racing goal for 2018 is the TransAtlantic Way (TAW) race in Ireland.

The TAW consists of 2,500 km mostly along the wild Irish Atlantic coastline. Based on the previous two years’ editions, I anticipate relentless wind, rain, and short, sharp climbs, but stunning scenery. Sounds like fun, so I’ve already signed up. What other races are being planned?

The TransContinental Race

It appears that the TransContinental Race (TCR) will happen again in 2018, with the new race organizers having posted photos of them recce’ing checkpoint locations a couple of months ago. It’s great to see the race continue despite the tragic loss of it’s founder and main organizer, Mike Hall, earlier this year.

The schedule for the TCR shouldn’t change much from previous years, so race information is likely to be announced during the next few weeks, registration is likely to be open in late November/early December, and places awarded in late December/early January. The race has previously always started in late July/early August, but any of these things could change.

UPDATE, 1st Nov 2017: The race organizers and the family of Mike Hall announced on the official Facebook page that they “are actively working together to ensure a sustainable future for the Transcontinental Race. Please bear with us, rider registration for TCRNo6 is being inevitably delayed.” This is promising news for 2018 and beyond, so hopefully everyone can be patient and wait a little longer for information and registration this time.

Other Races

The TCR is likely to again be heavily oversubscribed, with maybe only 1 in 3 applicants receiving a starting place. Registering for one of the other major bikepacking races listed below is likely to be more successful. This list is limited to self-supported, road cycling races of at least 1000 km that have announced details for a 2018 edition.

  • Indian Pacific Wheel Race, Australia, March/April
  • TransAm Bike Race, USA, June
  • TransAtlantic Way, Ireland, June
  • NorthCape Tarifa, Norway-Spain, June/July
  • North Cape 4000, Italy-Norway, July/August
  • Trans Afrika, South Africa, September

One interesting development is that the well-established supported bike race, the Race ACross Europe (France-Austria-Spain, June/July), which is similar to RAAM in the USA, has announced a new unsupported category for 2018.

Finally, the Baa Baa Bikepack race was scheduled to be first held in 2018 around Great Britain, but has been cancelled due to the logistical and legal complexities of organizing such an event.

What races are you planning to do? Are there any events that should be in the above list that I’ve missed?

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