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by Shane Stokes
August 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Van Poppel wins stage five of the Tour of Poland, Sagan keeps yellow; Trentin takes stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos; Perrone and Matthiessen take junior and U23 European time trial titles; Tour de France King of the Mountains Barguil and Moinard join Fortuneo-Oscaro squad; Gallopin and Ag2r La Mondiale commit for two years; Alaphilippe extends contract with QuickStep Floors team; UAE Team Emirates announces pending two-year deal with Alexander Kristoff; Shimano sneaks in new 105 front derailleur featuring trickle-down tech; Transcontinental update: Lenhard’s lead slims as race favourite stalks; Armstrong’s ‘Stages’ podcast to cover the Colorado Classic and Velorama MusicFestival; Video: CrossFit Games Cyclocross Course; Video: The inside story of Team Dimension Data’s Tour de France
After almost five days of racing in the Transcontinental ultra-endurance event the lead competitors have already clocked up over 2,000 kilometres and traversed the roads of at least seven countries in the race from Belgium to Greece.
Bjorn Lenhard, TransAtlanticWay winner, was the first rider to make it to checkpoint 3 in Slovakia, holding onto the lead he took at checkpoint 2 in Italy. However the clear pre-race favourite James Hayden wasn’t far behind, as he has made up plenty of ground since the last checkpoint at Mont Grappa. Last year’s fourth-placed finisher has managed to shift three spots up the leaderboard in a couple of days.
Hayden took a different route, cutting through Hungary, while the other top riders chose Austria. And it’s not just his route planning approach that appears to be differing from that of the man he is chasing, with Hayden taking more time off the bike than Lenhard – allowing himself blocks of five hours rest or more – but holding a higher pace. Hayden’s moving average was 27.7 kilometres an hour, about two kilometres faster than Lenhard’s.
The Transcontinental film crew caught up with Lenhard earlier in the race.
Experienced bike packer Melissa Pritchard, looks to have adjusted well to the new challenges of ultra-endurance racing. Pritchard, who has ridden around the world, was the leading women into the first two checkpoints and was holding her position as she rode across Austria on her way to checkpoint 3.
To find out the latest on how all the competitors are faring, you can find the tracking map here. To see additional footage check out the Transcontinental YouTube channel. And if you are looking for more on social media, the hashtag for this fifth edition of the Transcontinental is #TCRNo5.