Alexandre Bourgeonnier, second in TCRNo3. Photograph by James Robertson

Alexandre Bourgeonnier, second in TCRNo3. Photograph by James Robertson

Something we don't like at the Transcontinental is too many rules


The Transcontinental is a race from point A to point B, via control points on a bicycle for solo or pair riders without any dedicated assistance. It’s pretty simple really and to reflect that we keep our rule book simple; one page, ten rules.

They are few but we expect them to be taken seriously.

The rules are designed primarily to promote safety, sportsmanship, self reliance and equality. Riders of the Transcontinental Race must abide by the ten simple rules at all times whilst racing and any rule infringements will be taken seriously by the organisers. Our founder Mike Hall developed what has become the 'Spirit of the Race', an ethos of fairplay that all our riders aspire to. 



General classification / race finish

We award two types of finish for the Transcontinental Race, a CATEGORY FINISH and a COMPLETION. The objective is to distinguish and reward those riding a true solo or pairs effort, therefore qualifying for a position in their chosen classification.  This qualification for the CATEGORY FINISH requires a higher level of scrutiny over the basic Rules and therefore a higher level of diligence from riders. Put simply...

1. If all 10 RULES are observed then riders are awarded a COMPLETION and are included in the register of finishers, listed in time order.

2. If, as above, all RULES are observed AND the conditions for QUALIFICATION are met then riders will be awarded a CATEGORY FINISH and be given a finishing position in the general classification for solo or pairs and as well as being listed in the register of finishers.

In the presence of doubt Rules compliance is generally assumed, qualification must be proved. If a category finish is desired it is in the rider’s interests to actively avoid doubt. Where evidence of rule infringements is present the organisers will act accordingly.



All riders must meet these 10 rules in order to be awarded a completion and finishing time for the Transcontinental.

  1. Ride from the designated start line to the designated finish via the control points specified on the Brevet Card.
  2. No 3rd party support, private lodgings or resupply.  All food, drink and equipment must be carried or acquired at commercially available services.
  3. No drafting (other than pairs with their partners).
  4. All forward travel overland must be human powered.
  5. The following ferry services are permitted - Direct river crossings.
  6. All riders must maintain evidence of their ride.
  7. 2+ days of inactivity without report to the Race Director will be deemed a scratch.
  8. Travel insurance, cycle helmets and lights are mandatory.
  9. Riders must know and observe all local traffic laws.
  10. Ride in the spirit of self reliance and equal opportunity.


Riders will qualify for Solo or Pairs general classification if:

  1. They begin and finish the race under the same classification (solo or pair).

  2. They remain self-sufficient for the entire duration of their ride.

  3. They validate at controls within the time of operation
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A solo finish is regarded as a finish ‘with honours’ and qualifies riders to contest the overall General Classification. [A  rider cannot win the Transcontinental if they do not qualify a solo finish.]

Pairs Riders

In the pairs category riders in the pair act as a unit and may share food, equipment, information and resources between themselves and help each other including riding in each other’s slipstream but no support is to come from outside the pair and resources cannot be shared outside the pair.  



Riders who do not validate at controls within their designated times of operation by definition lose contact with the validation procedure provided by the event.  Transcontinental does not operate a ‘cut-off’ for these riders by which they are not included in the event listings but also cannot provide basic contact to give even the minimum assistance at controls.  Riders in this category are not held to the same degree of scrutiny as category finishers and an official race time (D // H // M) is not awarded.



The ‘dot’ is a marker on our map which symbolises a GPS tracking unit that each rider carries on their bike. This ‘Spot’ device marks the rider's last transmitted position and tracks their progress. It is a rider’s responsibility to look after their tracker and maintain its signal or collect evidence of their ride to prove they rode in the spirit and to the letter of the rules. 

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What is a Control?

A Control is a mandatory key location which racers must navigate to in order to validate their participation in the race. It is also where the race records their timings for race reporting. Controls are chosen for their dramatic terrain, natural beauty and often include icons of cycling or adventure. Their locations also shape the race as a whole along with the terrain and route dilemmas which may occur in-between. A Control usually consists of ‘Control Point’ and ‘Control Parcours’.

The Control Point is a fixed station, often a local business such as a hotel, where race staff validate the arrival of the racers by recording their arrival and time stamping their Brevet Card. The control points are established by the production and media team who will arrive in one or more of the control vehicles. They are then manned by volunteers in shifts until the control closure time. Failure to report in at any of the control points will mean that the rider is no longer qualified for inclusion in the finishers classification. Control Points are open from the time of arrival of the first rider, to the date specified in the Brevet Card. After this time the control will be closed and no longer be manned. Riders who arrive after closure of the control are excluded from the General Classifications but remain within the race.


The Control Parcours is a fixed length of route which riders must complete as part of their control visit. The control point will lie somewhere on this route, often at the start or finish. The Control Parcours often includes a traverse over especially scenic or demanding terrain or through an area of significance or interest. It is usually mandatory after the control has closed and a rider’s tracker or other evidence can satisfy the requirement to show it has been ridden.

For photographers and videographers the control points and parcours offer the opportunity to capture images of the racers in spectacular landscapes along a known route and to document stories of the racers with candid images at the control points. It is also a chance for the race reporters to capture some of their testimony and reaction and to observe their performance and condition over demanding terrain.

TCRNo4 CP4 // Durmitor. Photograph by Camille McMillan