The 2018 Transcontinental race has now officially drawn to a close with the final finishing party taking place. What a fantastic edition of the race this has been with James Hayden taking his second victory in dominating fashion and Ede Harrison taking her first title.
Now in its 6th edition the Transcontinental race has been closer than ever. Yes, the winner finished well clear, however the chasing pack were battling for position throughout the race. Bjoern Lenhard, James' closest rival before the race and in its early stages, was a victim of both mechanical and routing issues, but he fought - with exemplary spirit - to the end, and still came third. Mathew Falconer, with an unhumanly 38-hour final stint, coming after a consistent race, went from just inside the top 10 at the final checkpoint, to 2nd on the finish line. The battle for the remaining top ten places was incredibly closely fought, and the ride by first woman, Ede Harrison, was a joy to watch develop.
The strength in depth of racers now characterising the top positions is almost certainly due to experience. More and more riders have now taken part in the TCR, or other ultra-endurance races, and they're applying their experience to further the sport and the level of competition - throughout the field. It certainly bodes well for the future of the race and more importantly the future of Dot watching!
A big congratulations must go out to all riders that made it to Meteora for the finisher's party on 14th August, and perhaps an even bigger one to all of those still battling their way across Europe, outside of the time cut, on a mission to finish. We salute the determination, courage and spirit of each rider as much as the next.
Huge thanks must go out to LostDot, the organisation that now runs the TCR after the tragic death of Mike Hall. Last year the event was organised at very short notice after we lost Mike in March. However, they pulled it off and have built an incredible well organised and documented event for 2018. The Transcontinental Race remains at the pinnacle of self-supported road racing and Mikes legacy looks to be in safe hands. Bring on TCR no7!