Nightmares, niceties and gnarl: 10 years of the Transcontinental Race

The ultra-distance benchmark that pits riders against a 4,000km self-supported Europe-wide trek reaches double figures

Riding on a gravel track in the mountains on the 2023 Transcontinental Race
(Image credit: Transcontinental Race)

With only a handful of hours left to ride of what had been an epic journey across Europe, Christoph Strasser was almost able to see victory in the 2023 Transcontinental Race up ahead. After thousands of kilometres toiling through Europe, he was so close. And yet it wasn't that simple. It was pitch dark, the batteries in his lights had run down and he had a puncture to try to fix.

To cap it all, he already had lost his all-important GPS tracker, issued to all competitors. He may have been within shouting distance of the chequered flag but at that point, having stumbled around in woodland for nearly an hour looking for the offending item, victory seemed a long way off indeed.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.