TCR-03985
  • Michele

    I’ve loved following this on Instagram. Found myself finding fellow TCR accounts. Brilliant.

    The funny thing is, I’ve met and spoken at length with Alain when he came out for the TDU in his UCI role. Very likeable person.

    I realised I was following an Alain Rumpf through CT, but for whatever reason, I didn’t realise / cotton on it was the same guy. Must have been a combination of the facial hair, sun-tanned skin, and looking extremely fit.

    Thanks CT for allowing Alain to do. My wife and I have been to Croatia before, but only along the Dalmatia coast. Inspired to go back there next year because of this.

  • pauldr

    Inspirational.

  • kamoteQ

    Congratulations, a big one at that. Great account!

  • muz

    Awesome! Are you going back then…???

    • No!

      • muz

        ha, I’ll believe that when you’re not on the start line next year… :)

  • jules

    this is a great story. makes me want to give it a go.. fleetingly.

  • Roger That

    I can almost smell the ‘stinky photo’! (great shot).

  • Simon

    A few thousand yards (or miles) stares in that group shot.

  • kevv

    A great read and an inspiring ride. One day…
    I can’t understand why tubeless tyres weren’t used though. These surely would have avoided the pinch flats?

    • Christopher Ross Bennett

      I ran tubeless during the race (until I had to swap a wheel with a hub failure) and had no punctures at all. Tubeless is most definitely the way to go on these long endurance races. Strada dell’Assettia took its toll on people with tubes … I think the record was nine punctures. I’m a slow rider and passed a lot of the speedsters fixing their tyres. Another factor was probably the fact that many ‘pure’ roadies don’t know now to pick and stick to good lines on trails. If you had a mountain biking (or Tour Divide) history it was definitely easier.

      • hippy

        What wheels, tyres and sealant did you use? Aren’t tubeless a pain to deal with if you DO have to change tyres?

    • NY’er

      +1. I thought this would have been a no-brainer too. New tubeless tyres and sealant at the start of therace and you’d be extremely unlucky to have a flat.

      • Christopher Ross Bennett

        My front wheel was custom built by wheelworks.co.nz and had an SP dynamo hub. The rear was an Easton. I had one puncture in Bulgaria (wasn’t paying attention and hit some nasty glass). To repair you simply insert a plug through the tyre, twist and pull it out then reinflate. No tubes to change, etc. My sealant lasted the entire race. As an example of the benefit of having a good wheel (Pacenti SL23), I hit a massive pothole at night descending a mountain. It dented the rim, but there was no puncture, and the tubeless seal held for 1200 more kilometres.

      • Christopher Ross Bennett

        My front wheel was custom built by wheelworks.co.nz and had an SP dynamo hub. The rear was an Easton. I had one puncture in Bulgaria (wasn’t paying attention and hit some nasty glass). To repair you simply insert a plug through the tyre, twist and pull it out then reinflate. No tubes to change, etc. My sealant lasted the entire race. As an example of the benefit of having a good wheel (Pacenti SL23), I hit a massive pothole at night descending a mountain. It dented the rim, but there was no puncture, and the tubeless seal held for 1200 more kilometres.

  • pa8848

    Chapeau Alain! I enjoyed following your Instagram too. First we had Jesse C across America, then you across Europe. Too much of a good thing!

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  • Mirjam Terlingen

    amazing… but just wondering… only men riding this race?

    • There were several women at the start but only Jayne Wadsworth finished. Overall only half of the starters made it to the finish

  • opignon libre

    Congratulation Alain. You said the solace was perfect but something in me tells me you would have been better with tubeless or much larger tires. 8 flats is a huge number, even taking gravel roads into accounts.

    • Tubeless would have been better for sure. In my case it was a combination of going too fast (I’m a racer at heart) and not being able to pump enough air into my tubes with the small pump I had – another rookie mistake

  • Michael Sproul

    Amazing story and cheers for sharing!

  • De Mac

    Fair Effort Mate – well done!

  • Tim R

    Alain – pretty sure I had a coffee next to you in Bedoin but didn’t realise it was you.

    Was interesting seeing the riders come through over the course of 4-5 days so some were well behind by that stage. Had to explain to my wife what you (and everyone else with bikes loaded to the hilt) were doing and the response was a straightforward “that’s nuts”. I’m hoping the rider we had to help up when he fell over trying to unclip made it to the finish – he looked absolutely exhausted then and was only a quarter of the way through. Bloody hard race and well done to everyone who finished.

    And pls say hi to Jane & Philippe M. when you see them next (1 degree of Strava separation)

    • I only made a quick stop in Bedoin to buy food and drink, so not sure it was me. There were quite a few skinny cyclists in the race, as well as exhausted adventurers… Anyway I will say hi to Jane (former UCI colleague) and Philippe!

  • Tour de force Todd

    Amazing effort Alain and a job well done. I have been inspired by the ultra touring and i am signing up for next year as soon as the registrations open. “For the sake of comfort you give up knowing the world” .

  • Sean

    Amazing stuff Alain, this is one of the best cycling stories I can remember reading.

  • Tim Christian

    Great read Alain – what an epic effort! Look forward to learning more about your new venture. Best of luck for the new arrival in October too!

  • Joel

    Seems utterly ridiculous but congratulations Alain on finishing an epic adventure I agree about the countryside in Slovenia. Very beautiful indeed.

  • Pat Fogarty

    Congratulations to Alain and all the TCR riders – it’s been fascinating and inspirational to follow from the other side of the world. I used to think my ultimate cycling goal was to ride in PBP… now it might just be a warm-up.

  • Eat More Lard

    Wow, what I great read. Why do I find the idea of the TCR oddly compelling….

  • John Brown

    Incredible and inspirational! Gonna frame that brevet card?? Definitely think you should :-)

  • I have never been into these long distance races, but I have to admit… Following your journey on Instagram, and now reading about it here, makes me consider selling my aero road bike, and getting something that would allow me start testing my limits to discover if there would be a way for me to complete TCR in a year or two…

    • I was like you until my friend Chris did the race last year. By the way: Ultan Coyle, the rider who came fourth, rode a TT bike (no kidding). So you may not even need to get another bike…

  • Jessy Vee

    This is Epic. Thank you for a great read!

  • Johan Barelds

    What a great story Alain. Thanks for sharing this great experience and your tips! I am planning a 2400km solotour next year on bike packing base and your articles provide me with a lot of practical information. Thanks again for sharing! Gr Johan

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