- Location: Ireland
- Length: 2,500km
- Riders: 163
- Last year's winner: Bjoern Lenhard (GER)
- Terrain: Road
The TransAtlantic Way is a 2,500km ultra-distance bike race, starting in Dublin, and finishing in Cork, via The Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland's west coast.
'With the pounding swell of the Atlantic as your constant companion, you follow the blue zig-zag signposts through seven of Ireland’s westernmost counties,' reads the race website. 'You'll be treated to many of Ireland’s scenic showstoppers, welcoming towns and villages, heritage sites, and plenty of unexpected thrills.'
Starting in Dublin on 7th June at 10:30am, racers will have to navigate their own route to the first checkpoint at Derry, in the far north. From here, the route becomes designated, as it picks up the Wild Atlantic Way, and traces the western coastline - in many ways the arechtypal Irish backdrop - all the way south, to the finish at Kinsale.
First organised in 2015, the TransAtlantic Way is one of many races that have sprung up in the wake of the success of the Transcontinental. Indeed, chief organiser of the TAW, Adrian O'Sullivan, rode both the Transcontinental and the TransAm Bike Race in the years preceding the inaugural 2015 edition, and it was his experiences in them that led him to starting a new event.
The race has since developed a reputation as one of the fiercest challenges on the ultra-distance circuit. Despite its June start date, the weather conditions have been routinely testing over the years, with howling winds and piercing rain battering the riders on the long journey south. The relentless climbs, between jagged cliffs and isolated peninsulas, are another facet of this race that has helped develop its character.
Barring a slight change in position of the finish line, a rule that enforces high-visibility night riding, and a rule restricting riders to no more than 21 hours of riding per 24 hour period, the race remains unchanged for 2018.
On the startlist are 163 names, representing nationalities from around the world, that are due to start in Dublin on the 7th. Last year's winner, Bjoern Lenhard, is joined by last year's 2nd place, and fellow German, Bernd Paul, in a strong list of contenders that also includes 2015 Transcontinental Race winner Josh Ibbett, and 2nd female at the TCR last year, Karen Tostee.
With just three days until the Grand Depart in Dublin, we will have to wait and see what other names come to the fore, and what stories will be told, once the action begins to unfold on this Emerald adventure.
We'll be here for the duration, so keep the DotWatcher tab open.