F.lli Turri is sponsoring Jacopo Porreca and Niccolò Varanini, two young athletes who will be taking part in the third edition of Transcontinental. This is one of the hardest cycling races ever devised, in which riders have to compete completely unsupported.
The race will start at midnight on July 24th from Geraardsbergen, a town in Flanders resting at the foot of the Kapelmuur and the starting point of a short but tortuous climb often featured in the professional Tour of Flanders.
From that moment onwards, the over 200 competitors (180 solo riders and 25 pairs) will have 15 days to complete an over 4000-km-long ride spanning across ten countries; there is no set route but only four mandatory checkpoints that must be crossed within given deadlines.
The first checkpoint is on the summit of Mont Ventoux (elevation: 1912 m), a mountain in Provence famous among professional riders for being frequently included in the Tour de France.
The second mandatory control takes place near Turin, at the end of the so-called Assietta road, leading to the peak of Col di Tenda. As the crow flies, it is relatively close to the previous checkpoint, but the riders have to cross the Alps to get there. Moreover, the last 20 km are a steep climb – Col di Tenda has an elevation of 2472 m – along a cobbled path.
The third control point is in Vukovar, a town in eastern Croatia, famous for being the biggest river port along the Danube. As stated on the Race Manual given to every competitor, “riding towards Vukovar, a town that suffered extensive damage during the Croatian War of Independence, we are reminded of how lucky we are nowadays to be able to travel around Europe without any obstacles”.
The last checkpoint before Istanbul is in Montenegro, on the summit of Mount Lovcen (elevation: 1749 m) in the heart of a national park.
The race ends at the Rumeli Hisari (Rumelian Castle) – a 14th-century Ottoman fortress in Istanbul. The Rumeli Hisari is situated on the Western shore of the Bosphorus at its narrowest point, so the riders will cross the finishing line only a few hundred metres away from Asia. The deadline is set for August 10.
During this race, riders will receive no assistance. They will be in charge of all the logistics, from planning the route (as mentioned previously, there is no set itinerary, but only mandatory checkpoints that must be crossed before the given deadlines) to organizing where and when to sleep and eat. It is forbidden to accept any help, even from relatives, friends, sponsors or acquaintances.
Among those who will be taking part in this year’s race are our Jacopo Porreca (Brescia, 1985) and Niccolò Varanini (Verona, 1988), who will also be sponsored by PEdALED, Legor Cicli and Cicli Pigozzi. They will be competing as a pair. It will be possible to follow their race via both the race’s official channels and the social media of their team, Legor Cicli Squadra Corse.
More info on the race can be found at http://www.transcontinental.cc
The riders’ progress can be followed live at http://reportage.transcontinental.cc/?page_id=136.
Niccolò Varanini and Jacopo Porreca are entry no. 171. They will be supplying updates on their race at www.instagram.com/niccolo_varanini.