First Briton crosses line on Transcontinental race

While we've all been sitting comfortably at work over the past week and watching the Olympics in Rio, in another parallel reality 219 cyclists have been riding from Belgium to Turkey on the fourth Transcontinental race.

Billed as a return to the epic type of cycle racing that evolved into the Tour de France, riders are left to navigate their own routes, via four checkpoints.

Riders set off on Friday July 29 from De Muur van Geraardsbergen and had to navigate a route to take in checkpoints in Clermont Ferrand in France, Furkapass in Switzerland, Passo di Giau in Italy, and Durmitor in Montenegro. The checkpoints forced riders to plot routes across mountainous terrain, including the Alps.

The first Briton to cross the line was Neil Phillips, having taken nine days, 17 hours and 43 minutes.

The race was won a full day ahead of Neil on Sunday by Kristoff Allegaert from Belgium who took eight days, 15 hours and two minutes to cover his 3,827km, route. 

Riders are arriving at the finish in Canakkale, Turkey, on a regular basis. Second Briton and fourth place finisher is James Hayden, who came back from a two-day delay due to a chest infection to complete the route in ten days, five hours and 31 minutes. 

Rapha's Ultan Coyle is close to finishing and Emily Chappell, who had been the leading female rider, has been overtaken by Jane Wadsworth. 

The race is being documented by photographers James Robertson and Camille McMillan. You can follow the Transcontinental Instagram feed here

We've included a few of Francis Cade's videos on this page but you can view the full series on the Transcontinental and his other films by subscribing here

If you're thinking the Transcontinental might be a challenge for you, listen to this podcast first.

Follow the riders' progress on Trackleaders here