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The Transcontinental Bike Race Q&A with Rory McCarron

The Transcontinental is a self supported bicycle race across Europe. This year the race started in Belgium and finished in Greece and the competitors had to make their way to 4 check points along the way in Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Romania. Each person had to plan their own route and fend for themselves for food, water and mechanical mishaps. While some choose to stay indoors in hotels, others travelled with bivvy bags and slept on roadsides for a few hours a night to maximise time out on the road. It really is a true adventure and this week we’ve been lucky enough to catch up with Rory McCarron from Leigh Day Cycling who, on his first attempt, completed the race in an impressive fifth place.

How did it feel to cross that finish line?

I felt total relief to finish. I loved the race for the first 6-7 days but not long after entering Romania the heat and the roads became unbearable and I really started to struggle mentally and physically. It’s funny because the last few days you are so close to the end but I found that the hardest bit. I got so many messages when I was about 50km away from the finish congratulating me. I think it took about 4 hours from there. The slowest 50km of my life! I heard that someone scratched 200 or 300km from the finish, well within the time to make the finishers’ party because their head wasn’t in it anymore.

What’s the first thing you did when you finished?

I kissed and hugged my (now!) fiancée, Lucy. Then had an orange Fanta, quickly followed by a beer… then a shower (but I couldn’t wash properly as I’d lost the sensation in my hands).

The original interview was originally written by Emily Conrad-Pickles.You can read the full interview of Rory's Transcontinental experience on Yellow Jersey

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