Suddenly the start seems to be very close. At 10pm on Friday 28th July the 400 racers in the 5th Transcontinental Race will set off in a peloton from the town square in Geraardsbergen and head up the Muur through a gully of spectators with flaming torches.
I’ve been preparing for this for over a year now, particularly since late December when my place was confirmed. I’ve ridden 9,000 km so far in 2017 and climbed over 90,000 metres in all weathers – nearly double what I’d done by this time last year. In Calories that’s about 20 barrels of Harvey’s.
After passing the chapel at the top of the Muur the peloton will slowly shatter as each racer picks his own route to the next checkpoint in southern Germany. From here on we are on our own until the finish in Greece. No drafting is allowed – we are all fitted with satellite trackers and a team of online commissaires will be watching our tracks and handing out time penalties for transgressions.
*TCR No 5 by Darren Franks – Cap #114 in 2016 (great blog of his race)
I am raising money for Zanmi Lasante to develop and equip their new teaching hospital in Mirebalais in Haiti. If you think you are going to enjoy watching me suffer my way to Meteora please support this amazing project.