Geraardsbergen. On Sunday evening 24 July 2022, Geraardsbergen will open its doors wide for the fifth time to a large group of ultra racers. The hilly city once again forms the backdrop for the start of the Transcontinental Race, a bicycle race in which solo riders and duos cycle 4000 kilometers through Europe without help or support. The third edition of this ultra competition started in 2015 for the first time in Geraardsbergen. Of the 179 participants, 90 participants reached the finish line, some 4000 kilometers further in a coastal town near Istanbul.
Hard bike race
The ingredients of this extreme cycling race are actually simple: participants know the start and end place, and three mandatory checkpoints in between. Each rider has a GPS system that reports his or her position in real time. They map out their own course and are completely self-reliant throughout the competition. Providing food and drink, finding a place to sleep, repairing bicycle breakdowns… it is all part of the competition. Whoever starts the match will not only fight with himself physically but especially mentally. The winner – and by extension every participant who makes it to the finish line – is bound to paddle his way to eternal fame.
Experience the start yourself!
“We have very warm memories of the previous editions, and are delighted that The Transcontinental n°8 is starting again in Geraardsbergen,” says Sport Alderman Stephan De Prez. “We are once again putting our Muur and Kapelmuur on the international map, and we also get a unique insight into how these tough men and women take on such an exceptional challenge.”
Those who would like to experience the atmospheric start for themselves and encourage the riders – an international group of 278 courageous racers, including 12 Belgians – are welcome at the Market from 8 p.m. At around 10 pm, after a local round, it goes via Guilleminlaan and Stationsplein towards Vesten en Muur, after which the real competition begins for the participants.