This pages contains information about the 2018 Transcontinental Race No6. See the Overview page for a general introduction to the Transcontinental Race (TCR).

Transcontinental Race No5

Page contents:

Route Summary

As in the previous three years, the race started in Geraardsbergen, Belgium with a short loop around the town and then an ascent of the cobbled climb, the Muur van Geraardsbergen. My video from the start of the 2015 TCR is below. After all previous editions of the TCR had started on Saturday morning or Friday evening, having the start at 22:00 on Sunday evening, 29th July, 2018 was unusual.

All four checkpoints were in countries that hadn’t previously hosted a checkpoint. The total distance was similar to the previous two years at 3,800-4,000 km with about 35-40,000 meters of climbing. Here is the simplified map of the route:

Route options to the first checkpoint, the Bielerhöhe Pass in the Austrian Alps, were similar to the previous year: most people passed through the Ardennes hills in Belgium and then the Vosges in France, but some chose the flatter option, first heading east and then up the Rhine river.

The second checkpoint started on the highest road in Slovenia, at Mangart Sedlo then went down the Soča Valley before climbing the Vrśić Pass. Almost everyone used the relatively easy Brenner Pass to cross the main spine of the Alps to reach CP2.

Similar to TCR No5, 2017, riders headed north between CP2 and CP3, this time going all the way up to the most northern checkpoint to be used by the TCR (bearing in mind that London, UK, is further north but has only been used as the start), with riders crossing into Poland briefly before ascending the steep Karkonosze Pass (14% average gradietn for the final km) and descending back into the Czech Republic. The routes across NE Austria and Czechia were where the most diversity was seen.

CP4 had an long unpaved / gravel section on the Bjelašnica mountain above Sarajevo, Bosnia, the top part of which most people found to be unrideable. The site hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics and was subsequently used by the military during the Bosnian War. Route choice between CP3 and CP4 mainly hinged on whether riders chose to go east or west of Lake Balaton in Hungary, which is central Europe’s largest lake.

For the second year, the finish was in Kalabaka, Greece, near the Meteora monasteries, with the final parcours passing the monasteries that stand on pinnacles of rock above the town. Route choices between CP4 and the Finish were very limited, with almost everyone using the same roads through Montenegro and Albania.

In the first five editions of the race, the finish party was always at the end of the 15th day, but for TCR no6, it was at the end of the 16th day. To be included in the more stringent “General Classification”, riders needed to reach the finish before it closed 17 days after the start, otherwise they could only be included in the list of “Finishers”.

Media Coverage

The organizers published a series of daily Race Reports, a DotWatchers Blog, and a series of Podcasts (but the link to the Podcasts unfortunately no longer works).


Full results are available on the Transcontinental Race website. 153 of the 251 starters reached the finish (61%), 119 of whom qualified for the General Classification.

Björn Lenhard lead for much of the race until CP3 when mechanical and routing problems started to significantly slow him down. The defending champion James Hayden then took the lead and extended it to more than 24 hours by the finish. There was a close battle for the minor podium places, with Matthew Falconer eventually taking 2nd ahead of Björn.

James Hayden finished the race in 8 days and 23 hours. The leading woman was Ede Harrison, who finished in 46th place overall in 13 days 19 hours. The fastest pair were Luca Somm and Oliver Bieri in 14 day 8 hours.


Last minor page modification: 20th August, 2019
Last significant page update: August, 2019

Transcontinental RacenextThis page is in the Transcontinental Race section. The next page looks at the Overall Results of the first 5 editions of the race.