The route for the 2022 edition of the ultra-endurance Transcontinental Race has been unveiled, the event not being held since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The riders competing in the normally annual, self-supported race across Europe will make their way west to east across the continent in the usual direction, 2019 having been run east to west for the first time in the event's seven-year history.
The 2022 event will begin in Geraardsbergen, the location of one of the definitive climbs in the Tour of Flanders, the Belgian city also hosted the start for four consecutive years from 2015-2018.
Those who manage to finish will end up in Burgas on the Bulgarian Riviera after 4100km of racing, the city which provided the race's start in 2019.
In Geraardsbergen, race organisers promise "cowbell-ringing well-wishers on the torch-lit climb" will provide the perfect send-off for all competitors.
The first checkpoint, one of four that competitors have to pass through en route to the finish line, which arrives 800km in, comes at Krupka on the northern edge of the Ore Mountain range in the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
1550km into the race comes the second checkpoint over the summit of the Passo di Gavia, a historic pass in the heart of the Alps and of Giro d'Italia fame.
The Dinaric Alps in Bosnia and Herzegovina hosts the third checkpoint after 2700km, at Durmitor, where riders will pass along a ribbon of asphalt that cuts through the Durmitor National Park through rocky tunnels and alongside rolling pasture.
The fourth checkpoint is at Transalpina, but the off-road route rather than the better known Romanian Asphalt road amongst Romania's Parâng mountains.
Finally, after 4100km, the riders reach the finish line in Burgas, set along the Bulgarian Riviera, having made the journey from west to east across Europe.
Germany's Fiona Kohlbinger, then 24 years old, won the 2019 race, finishing in a time of just over 10 days, 10 hours ahead of second-place Brit Ben Davies.
The 2022 event will begin on July 24, the same day as the start of the Tour de France Femmes.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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