Fact file

Derry, Northern Ireland
Start Date:
Thursday, September 3, 2020 9:00 AM
Rachel Nolan

Race Preview

First run in 2016, the TransAtlantic Way (TAW) is a ride from Dublin to Cork via The Wild Atlantic Way.

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. It meanders from Malin Head in County Donegal, Ireland's most northerly point, to Mizen Head in County Cork, the most southerly point. Marked by blue zig-zag signposts the route weaves and winds across 2,500km of beautiful coastline.

Wild Atlantic Way sign

In previous years the TAW ride started in Dublin and riders navigated their own way to Checkpoint 1 at Derry in Northern Ireland. The 2020 edition starts in Derry on Thursday 3rd September (delayed from 4th June due to Covid-19). From Derry, riders can choose between a longer (2112km) route or a shorter (1542km) option or simply decide to mix both. Previous finishers have completed the long course in times ranging from 5 to 16 days.

The riders have started to arrive in Derry. Its wet today, but the field of Irish based riders should be well used to that. (More on Irish rain later).

Tomorrow at 10am (ish) they will be lead out over the Peace bridge and then released onto the main road out of Derry.

Routes: The first 500km

The short route has been named Setanta, and the long route Cuchulainn (pronounced Koo-hullan). Cú Chulainn was an ancient Irish warrior who was gifted with superhuman strength, speed and skill. Setanta was his name as a young boy. While waiting for the TAW to start, you can read the full story. The reason for the name change is explained in the first couple of paragraphs.


Checkout the route differences over the first 500km or so. TAW-First500km

And they’re off!

10 rider trackers and the media car are active. Tom Daly took an early start (age has its privileges - but he doesnt qualify for a free bus pass just yet).
TAW2020 - Tom Daly Its less than 6 miles (yes miles) from Derry back across the border (and kilometers again). Greencastle at 30km sees the first stiff climb followed by a scenic descent past Kinnego Bay. The riders will keep heading north to Malin Head at 74km then turn south. The Cuchullain route has the Mamore Gap at 116km. 2km at an average 12% (but the stretches at 20% are going to hurt).

Mamore Gap

We now have 11 riders. Anthony Day's tracker is active and he appears to be catching up quickly. (Meanwhile the race organisers are stuck in Derry with a mechanical).

Benny Cassidy is over the Mamore Gap, with then next 3 about to head up this!

TAW2020-Mamore Gap

End of Day 1

Ben Delaney was stopped for over an hour near CP1 on Fanad Head. Looks like he then travelled by car back to Letterkenny. Hope he is OK. Although half the riders have stopped for the night. Benny Cassidy, at the front, is still moving past Bloody Foreland (named after the red colour of the rocks at sunset). At the other end, Anthony Day is taking a break at Fanad (100km behind Benny). As there is less happening at this hour - here are some bikes of TAW 2020 to look at. TAW2020-bike collage

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