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TCR No. 8 — racing across Europe

Max Riese

TCR No. 8 — racing across Europe

Road Cycling Collection by Max Riese



188:34 h

2,630 mi

152,575 ft

After a two year hiatus, the Transcontinental race finally returned for its 8th edition. I was lucky to get a spot in 2020 but due to postponement, have been waiting for the race to happen.

So, what’s the Transcontinental all about? This fantastic races crosses the European continent from Geraardsbergen in Belgium to Burgas in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. It involves roughly 4,000 km (2,500 mi) of unsupported bikepacking in race mode mainly on tarmac, but also with gravel sections, some tricky route choices and other challenges.

Four checkpoints with mandatory parcours to complete made for some stunning riding: Horny Krupka in Czech Republic, Passo Gavia in Italy, Durmitor National Park in Montenegro and the famous Transalpina in Romania.

How did my race go? Follow along and find out!

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Stage 1: from the gun through the night — TCR No.8

    342 mi
    15.2 mph
    14,425 ft
    14,150 ft

    Geraardsbergen is a place with a special history in cycling. The "Mur" has been a monument for bike races since decades. The cobbles leading up are rough and the gradient steep. What a scenery for the start of the Transcontinental Race No.8. I arrived two days early by train and of course rode the Mur

    by Max Riese

  • I got up around 3 am to discover that sweat had made all my clothing quite wet. Combined with the diarrhoea from yesterday, that wasn't good. I cleaned my most important parts with wet wipes and took off. The goal was Checkpoint 1 and it was easily in reach. I even wanted to complete the parcours before

    by Max Riese

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  • 05:03
    62.3 mi
    12.3 mph
    5,800 ft
    5,650 ft

    @Rob Inson nah all good. You can see the little in and out bit. That was to the beginning of the parcour and back. Going this way just seemed quicker as the way up through germany was less steep. ;) my tracker seems to not have recorded this bit though. The race organisation are receiving my gpx as prove

    by Max Riese

  • Again I got off to an early start in the dark, completing the parcour in the dark and heading off to the first bigger town Usti nad Labem for breakfast. On the way I met fellow rider Sebastian Breuer. He was struggling with knee pain. We had a short chat and later saw each other again at the bakery in

    by Max Riese

  • I was very happy in my Autobahn Hotel. A shower and some deep three hours of sleep really helped. I cleaned my bib shorts and treated the saddle sores that had evolved out of the stomach issues I had. A first step, but a long way to get up to my usual speeds again. I never considered Autobahn Hotels

    by Max Riese

  • 15:53
    179 mi
    11.3 mph
    16,950 ft
    20,050 ft

    I was quite happy to lay in my bus shelter, bivvying safe and sound while the heavens opened and a stream of water flushed down the road in front of me. All while I was staying perfectly dry! When my alarm went off, the storm and rain had just stopped and the roads started to dry off. 3 am. What a time

    by Max Riese

  • Taking a hotel for the night was a great decision. Being able to dry all my clothes, take care of my hygiene and my saddle sores as well as catching a good four hours of sleep really paid off. The best part was this: my hosts prepared a lunch package for me to take away. So nice!


    The day quickly got hot

    by Max Riese

  • ​​I woke up in a 70s Eastern Europe-themed apartment that was way too expensive for what it was but, well...I was glad to not sleep in the wet, foggy fields outside. I packed up quickly and left the apartment. After a short while, I encountered Polish rider Pawel. He’d slept in a field and got completely

    by Max Riese

  • Immediately after leaving Mostar in the morning, I stopped at a petrol station for breakfast. It was a good decision because what followed was a 20-kilometre (12 mi) climb. Not brutally hard but very long. The view was amazing. Looking back, I had a view of the city and on the right hand side, I could

    by Max Riese

  • 16:02
    199 mi
    12.4 mph
    14,600 ft
    15,550 ft

    After an upwards trend in the last days, I felt completely empty and destroyed. The only thing making me go faster were the dogs chasing me through the early morning. Soon the track went off-road on a rough gravel path. I checked my route and saw the road went all the way up the 16 kilometre climb and

    by Max Riese

  • 15:05
    202 mi
    13.4 mph
    12,625 ft
    8,950 ft

    I woke up shivering in the field. I should have taken the time to put on my puffer jacket and pants but maybe it was good to make me get up early. I descended into Golubac. The sun was rising and I could feel the warmth. The view on the Danube was amazing. I saw a bakery which was due to open 10 minutes

    by Max Riese

  • 15:34
    223 mi
    14.3 mph
    9,725 ft
    13,500 ft

    I got up fairly late but still before the sunrise, to start my second ascent of Transalpina. I soon overtook Stephane and Theo again, but I was on a mission and just briefly said hi. Then it started: the gravel parcours. My terrain and the section I’d been waiting for. My Cervelo Caledonia was fitted

    by Max Riese

  • 12:35
    203 mi
    16.1 mph
    8,575 ft
    8,925 ft

    I set off at an unusually late time for the first ferry at 08:30. Well fed and restocked, I rolled onto the ferry. Waiting with me were about fifteen other riders, making me angry that all my effort was for nothing. Oh well, maybe the others were more tired than me at least! On the ferry, I realised

    by Max Riese

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    2,630 mi
  • Duration
    188:34 h
  • Elevation
    152,575 ft

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