After the tragic death of the Transcontinental Race’s founder and director, Mike Hall, the future of his race was uncertain. A team, that included Mike’s partner and race coordinator, friends and fellow racers, formed to keep his race and legacy alive. The turnout of 283 riders at the Transcontinental Race No. 5 in 2017 was the largest ever, as cyclists arrived in Geraardsbergen eager to ride in Mike’s memory. The Control Point 1 took racers up a short climb to the fairytale castle at the top of the Schloss Lichtenstein. That was the easiest it got. CP2 on Monte Grappa, a mountain in the Venetian Prealps, saw a high number of dropouts as riders grappled with extreme temperatures up the long, steep climb. The weather cooled towards CP3 and the High Tatras followed by the much anticipated CP4 on the Transfăgărășan, a bucket-list climb for many cyclists, in Romania. This challenging race finished at the majestic monoliths of Meteora, in Greece. James Hayden was 2017’s winner, finishing in 9 days, 2 hours, with Bjorn Lenhard close behind. Melissa Pritchard took first female in 13 days, 2 hours. Eivind Tandrevold and Anders Syvertsen were first pair. Of 283 riders, 143 finished.
Tragically Frank Simons, a first time competitor on the TCR, was hit by a car and killed in the first few hours of his race. The decision to continue the race rested with the majority of the riders. Frank and his wonderful family will forever hold a special place in the heart of this community. Frank’s wife and son both came to see the Transcontinental Race No.6 riders set-off from Geraardsbergen in the summer of 2018, Catherine, his wife read a poem she had written for him and his son Job spoke directly to the riders, giving a very moving speech that left hardly a dry eye in the house.
Despite the tragic losses of 2017 the overwhelming feeling after TCRNo5 was that this race is a beautiful legacy to remember an inspirational man. TCRNo6 was planned and Lost Dot was formed to continue to deliver this wonderful event as long as people are interested to race it.