Mark Wilcox

The Transcontinental is a single stage race in which the clock never stops

  • Mark Wilcox – – TCR day one 40’c Gravel and everything in between 20kgs fully loaded bike – 160.02 mi 8,880 ft
    28th – 117°F Holly Molly that was a tough day – 99.20 mi 11,305 ft
  • 29th – Day 3, hot hot and humid – 100.78 mi 7,329 ft
  • 30th – Serbia bound… – 74.35 mi 6,376 ft
  • 31st – Brutal 30 mile 2000m gravel climb with a hike a bike to the top – 81.41 mi 11,509 ft
  • 1st – 20mph block headwind in 100° heat put plans for a monster mileage on the back burner – 107.56 mi 2,547 ft
  • 2nd – Another hot hot day finished with a massive thunderstorm…soaked! – 107.51 mi 5,561 ft
  • 3rd – Day 7 part 1 head wind of hell ! – 43.38 mi 462 ft
  • 3rd – Day 7 part 2 unbelievable head wind.. – 51.65 mi 559 ft
  • 4th – Stupidly hard into another 20mph day long headwind that’s over 400 miles of chewing my stem going nowhere fast – 78.45 mi 436 ft
  • 5th – Oops + 100 miles somehow managed to stop the wahoo – 11.11 mi 85 ft
  • 5th – Onwards to Slovenia ❤ another 100+ ° day feeling much better – 100.72 mi 1,424 ft
  • 6th – Another really hot day 109°c I’m not built for this heat! – 87.39 mi 4,775 ft
  • 7th – I’m shattered, lots of Gravel today, only 100°F though ? – 79.45 mi 2,900 ft

“The Transcontinental is a single stage race in which the clock never stops. Riders plan, research and navigate their own course and choose when and where to rest. They will take only what they can carry and consume only what they can find. Four mandatory control points guide their route and ensure a healthy amount of climbing to reach some of cycling’s most beautiful and historic monuments. Each year our riders cover around 4000km to reach the finish line.”

First status update…6am start 85°F it’s been 110°F all day, not taken a single picture as got to just push on to make control point 1, 130 miles in with 7000ft thus far on a bike weighing 19kgs and just to make it spicy around 30 miles has been gravel.

Today’s ride is up on Strava if anyone wants to take a look…Bad roads(some good too) 30 miles of Gravel and it was 110°F for most of the day. Baked! Found hotel at foot of climb to cp1 figured 6hrs in a bed is better than riding 2000ft tonight then sleeping in a ditch ?????

Day 3 & 4 update… Day 3 was 100 miles 7300 ft 107°c finishing in the centre of Sofia, quite a shock to be riding on a 6 lane carriageway after spending the previous days literally in the middle of nowhere often on gravel tracks, still got to a hotel without issue (having escaped the airport security dogs ?) and the ride out of the city this morning was relatively straight forward if a little intense! Today’s ride has got me just over the boarder into Serbia, 74miles 6300 ft with the temp only hitting 97°F but boy its humid! I’m at the start of cp2 parcours and I’m trying to box clever, there are a whole load of people around 20km in front of me and I intend to catch them by deploying some age and treachery skills…I’ve cut today a bit short as they are making their way up Besna Kobila this is a 2000ft peak with the last 800ft is on unrideable gravel, there are no hotels or places to eat up there and speaking to the locals in the village at the bottom it’s really windy up top at mo, add packs of wild dogs and I’m thinking early night a few hours quality sleep and then the chase will be on, they will either have to bivvy at some point or go all night, either way the are not going to be well rested and fed ? once over cp2 I should be able to get a few big mileage days under my belt as a large part of Serbia is relatively flat (we will see!) Bulgaria is utterly stunning place to ride sure bits of it are rough and dilapidated but the people are nice and the mountains beautiful and whilst some of the roads are shocking many of them are really good.

Day 5, 84 miles 11500 ft 2000m of that was a gravel climb with some hiking required to reach the top…plan to catch those ahead back fired as I only got 2 hours sleep thanks to a dog that barked non stop for 7 hrs ? into the flat lands now some hopefully can cover some serious ground the next few days

Day 6…had ambitions on a monster mileage as largely flat, wanted to get to Belgrade. 107 miles in 100°F with a 20mph block headwind the whole way put paid to my plans…I think it’s a top 5 hardest rides day despite it being flat !

No nights in a ditch thus far hotels are easy to source though not always exactly where you want them. Today was one of the hardest rides I’ve ever done as a killer headwind in the 100° heat, working my arse off to do 14mph on the flat, went to some dark places today! Food and drink fairly easy though you have to accept what’s on offer at times. Got given some unbelievably good peaches by a farmer earlier ?

Thanks everyone for the positive comments, it definitely helps ?

Another 107.5 mile ride today, had plans for more but a super stressful crossing of Belgrade followed by the most violent thunderstorm I’ve ever seen, multiple lightning strikes along the road had me poopin my pants! I was 4km from my hotel and bone dry, I arrived pretty much hyperthermic and utterly soaked, never seen gain like it, was coming down so hard that the cars stopped !

Similar day in the end plus a massive thunderstorm to boot. All good though, thanks for your messages of support, they really help especially when grinding 8hrs into the wind on 100°c plus temps ?

It’s really humid at mo, ment to be showers tomorrow so might actually help me a bit, bike is spot on, speaking to the mental locals and some of the other guys briefly as we pass each other

Star date haven’t a clue… Another horrible grind of a day, today was ment to be fast and long but again a killer headwind put paid to that so that’s 300 miles in 3 days into a block headwind, literally working my ass off to do 13mph ? still happy to be in Croatia and IF the wind plays ball tomorrow then Slovenia is possible 97 miles

Really appreciate all the support, the last few days have been exhausting and sole destroying 400 miles into a 20mph head wind! There is nowhere to hide on these roads and its been hot as hell too, I’m going to rest up early today, try and get a big recovery sleep in then go again tomorrow.

Headwind you mean Simmo? Forecast for midday tomorrow looks like a light tailwind however across most of that area ??

Today was totally flat 400ft in 80 miles…dispite this it was unbelievably hard due to the head wind….400+miles into a headwind and I’m cooked, so stopped early aiming for 10hrs sleep then back on it tomorrow. Thanks for all the support it really does help

So my plan for a good night’s sleep paid dividends with a solid 9hrs passed out, I waited for breakfast and could see the suprise on the staff faces as i devoured 3 peoples worth of food, as a consequence I felt much better today and the wind also finally played ball with a mostly side wind through the day, I cleared Croatia and made it to Maribor in Slovenia which is close to the Austrian border ? 111 miles today though I definitely could have done more the selection of hotels past this point range from bus shelter’s to ditch’s so I’m thinking another solid nights sleep plus a hearty breakfast and cp3 will soon be in sight.

This legend was waiting for me just over the boarder in Slovenia, he has been dot watching and wanted to say hello and give me some encouragement, rode with him for about 10 miles ? the big tree in the background is the only Sequoia tree in Slovenia. We stopped for him to take a picture in a village that translates as “village of Marc’s”

Slightly short day today at 87 miles, I didn’t sleep well last night and I really felt the heat today also the next town that would have taken me over the 100 for the day’s cheapest room is €160 per night ? anyway closing in or cp3 parcours and generally feeling pretty good though the heat has a habit of zapping all my energy.

So fatique is a funny thing that creeps up on you then slaps you in the face, my legs feel ok and my butt is all good, I’m remarkably free of aches and pains and my head is still 100% in the game but today was a real struggle as I’m just so so tired, to make matters worse my route into Italy is closed due to a land slide so I’ve got some extra miles to cover tomorrow ? Austria whilst beautiful has a lot of no bike roads and compulsory cycle paths, some are great but some are gravel and they meander all over the place giving you the feeling that you just are not covering much ground however I have managed to book myself into an award winning brewery for the night ? 79 miles 3000ft lots of gravel

Right guys that’s it I’m done and have officially scratched from the race, thanks for the support it’s really helped but in truth I was tired before I even started the ride due to 2 x house moves in the days leading up to the start. I’m fatiqued way beyond the point of being safe on the road, 12 days of 100+°F temps and 500 miles of headwind has finished me off. Happy with what I achieved 1200 miles and 65000 ft solo in 100+°F riding a 20kgs rig in 12 days is not bad going. Considered a day off but in truth a week off might only touch the side’s of my exhaustion. lots of highlights and not many lows, I’m just broken and fatiqued to a point where it’s not safe to continue. Hope I haven’t let anyone down but I truly feel I’ve given it my all. ?

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