The route for next year’s Transcontinental Race No8 was announced today. Due to pandemic-related cancellations, this is the third time that the organizers have tried to launch TCR edition Number 8, we all hope that the 2022 version will be a success (see details of the cancelled 2020 and 2021 versions). The 2022 route is a good mix of some new elements, while at the same time re-visiting some traditional sections.
The race format is unchanged, see the main Transcontinental Race page for an overview. Most importantly, riders are entirely self-supported, the clock never stops and riders choose their own route between the control points. Mental and emotional aptitude are at least as important as physical ability. See also the official race website.
The race distance is again about 4000 km and to reach the finish in time for the party, people will have to average over 265 km per day. The winner should do 400-450 km per day.
The start date is July 24th, 2022 and for the fifth time the start is in Geraardsbergen, Belgium, with a passage up the steep cobbled lane of the Kappelmuur. The cancelled 2020 and 2021 editions were due to start in Brest, France and then head to the Roubaix cobbles, but both of those elements are out for 2022 and the race instead returns to it’s traditional home in Flanders.
Here’s my low-quality action camera footage from the 2015 start:
Riders will begin by heading directly east to the Ore Mountains in Czechia, between Dresden and Prague, where they’ll do an extended obligatory parcours of 120 km. The race route has never spent so much time in Germany before nor spent so much time this far north.
Next up is a trip through Bavaria then over the Alps to get to the Gavia Pass in Italy. The nearby Stelvio Pass has been used as a Control Point twice before, and some people may choose to voluntarily do that ascent just to access the Gavia, so the daily distances will be significantly reduced in that section.
Control Points 3, 4 and the Finish mimic those from the cancelled 2020 edition. CP3 is the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro, where the race visited in 2016. I have very fond memories of riding that parcours on a perfect morning and chatting to the official film crew along the way, see the video below.
In 2016, the control point before Durmitor was in the Dolomites, but after exiting the Alps the 2022 riders will basically be looking at the same route options down the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea as those six years prior.
CP4 includes a remote dirt road in Romania’s Parâng mountains, part of the Carpathians, near to the famous Transfăgărășan Pass.
The Finish will bring riders to the eastern edge of Europe on the coast of the Black Sea in Burgas, Bulgaria. This is where TCR No7 started and where the 2020 edition was supposed to finish.
The list of event and control point sponsors is also a mix of the traditional names plus a couple of new ones: Apidura, fi’z:ik, Hutchinson, Kinesis, Komoot, LEM helmets, and PEdALED.
Here is a very simplified version of the route. See more details at Komoot: