DiscoverThe Cycling Podcast149: Explore | Episode 1 | The Transcontinental Race
149: Explore | Episode 1 | The Transcontinental Race

149: Explore | Episode 1 | The Transcontinental Race

Update: 2018-11-164


November 16 | Episode 1

The Cycling Podcast’s new series Explore focuses on the booming world of endurance and ultra endurance riding and bikepacking.

Join hosts Lionel Birnie and Hannah Troop, plus producer Tom Whalley, for a six-part series with new episodes released each Friday morning.

Over the course of the series we’ll hear inspirational stories from people who have undertaken some remarkable challenges on two wheels. We’ll hear from someone who rode to Australia, someone who rode across Australia, from round-the-world riders and End-to-End record-breakers. We’ll hear from pro racers, leisure riders and even the self-styled Slow Cyclist.

In this opening episode we focus on the Transcontinental Race, which has has established itself as Europe’s most well-known bikepacking race. Founded in 2013 by the late Mike Hall, the race has been won for the past two years by James Hayden.

Hannah interviews James about the challenge of winning back-to-back editions of the TCR, about how he chooses his route and focuses on his goal of reaching the finish first.

Before that, though, we hear the other side of the coin from Richard Abraham, who talks about the emotional effects of scratching from the race 2,000 kilometres in. His account puts into perspective the scale of James’s achievement.

In part two we learn about the group of women who form the Donnons des Elles au Vélo in riding the Tour de France route one day ahead of the race as they seek to push for a women’s equivalent to Le Tour. We hear from Tetiana Kalachova, who has ridden successive Tours, from Mathieu Istil, who helps to put together the ride from a logistical point of view, and from Juliet Elliott, who is more used to racing short, intense events but joined to ride one stage of the event this year.


Rapha support The Cycling Podcast all year and that support has enabled us to get the wheels rolling on series one of Explore. They have developed a range of clothing and accessories that are perfect for the adventurous world of endurance riding and bikepacking.

Rapha. Adventure Starts Anywhere.  Check out Rapha’s Explore range at

Science In Sport are our other long-term supporters and if you are going to accept the challenge of a long multi-day ride, you need to get your nutrition right. Get 25 per cent off all Science In Sport energy drinks, bars and gels at by using the code SISCP25 at check-out.

The Economist

For over 170 years, The Economist has delivered trustworthy intelligence that helps people like you choose where to stand on the issues that matter most. We are delighted to announce that The Economist is also supporting series one of Explore. All UK-based listeners can get a free print copy of The Economist by texting CYCLE to 78070









149: Explore | Episode 1 | The Transcontinental Race

149: Explore | Episode 1 | The Transcontinental Race

Lionel Birnie, Daniel Friebe, Richard Moore