This page contains information about the 2020 Transcontinental Race, which was cancelled due to the disruption of the Coronavirus pandemic. The replacement race should be held in 2021, the Transcontinental Race 2021 (cancelled), but the route of the 2021 edition was very different to that which was planned for 2020, so this page has been kept for prosperity. See the Overview page for a general introduction to the Transcontinental Race (TCR). See also the official TCR page.
Timeline and Cancellation
Rough details of the original 2020 TCR No. 8 race were announced at the launch event at Look Mum No Hands in London, UK in late November, 2019. Registration was open for two weeks in November and December, 2019. Applicants were informed in early January 2020 whether they had been awarded a place.
Travel restrictions and lockdowns started throughout Europe in early to mid March 2020 and before the end of March the organizers announced that the 2020 TCR was being postponed until 2021. Details of the 2021 replacement race were announced in late December, 2020, with the new route minimizing the number of border crossings and remaining within the Schengen region to maximize the chance of the race happening with minimum disruption while still crossing a large portion of the continent, see the page for Transcontinental Race 2021 (cancelled).
All riders who had accepted a place for 2020 were given the opportunity to race in 2021 or receive a full refund; places could not be transferred to a later edition.
The start and finish locations from TCR No. 7 were to be used again in the 2020 TCR, but the direction would be reverted back to the traditional west to east format. The start had been planned for the final weekend of July 2020, but at the time of the cancellation it had not been decided whether it would be late on Friday 24th or early on Saturday 25th, July.
The total distance was expected to be similar to the longest ever TCR in 2015 of about 4,200 km. However, the amount of climbing would have been significantly more than in 2015 at over 40,000 m, so it may have been the hardest route yet, or at least have taken longer to ride than any other.
The finish party had been announced as Saturday evening, August 8th, which would have been the end of Day 15. This would therefore probably be an even bigger challenge for people to arrive before the finish party in this edition than it was in previous editions.
The 4 control points were as follows, and are marked on the map below.
- CP1: Roubaix, France. The parcours included some of the classic secteurs of incredibly rough, cobbled farm roads in northern France that are used in the Paris-Roubaix professional bike race every Spring.
- CP2: Grosser Speikkogel, Austria. The parcours involved one of the hardest paved climbs in the Alps with an average gradient of around 11% for at least 10 km. There was then a traverse along a ridgetop gravel road.
- CP3: Durmitor massif, Montenegro. CP3 would have re-visited this stunning National Park in remembrance of the race’s founder Mike Hall because he chose it as CP4 for Transcontinental Race No. 4, 2016. Racers would have passed through the dramatic Tara river gorge and then climbed over the remote, high mountains on a minor paved road.
- CP4: Transalpina, Romania. The race would have visited a high pass in Romania’s Carpathian mountains for the second time (the more famous Transfagarasan Pass featured in Transcontinental Race No. 5, 2017). This time it would have been the Transalpina road, but the parcours actually focused on a lengthy gravel/unpaved side-road.
Whether there would be an obligatory start or finish parcours was not announced before the race was cancelled.
Only the start and the first control point, both in France, were kept the same for the replacement 2021 edition. There has been no announcement about whether the other control points planned for 2020 will be used in future editions.
Last significant page update: January, 2021
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