Organisers of the Transcontinental Race are inviting applications for three bursaries named after the race’s founder Mike Hall, killed while riding the India-Pacific Wheel race in 2017, to help riders from low-income families participate in this year’s eighth edition of the race (TCRNo8) in a bid to widen accessibility to the event.
Applications for the Mike Hall Bursary, worth £1,250 and aimed at helping offset the cost of competing in the race, open today on the event’s website and close on Sunday 19 January, with the money coming from purchases of the preliminary race manual for TCRNo8.
Full details of the bursaries and the application process and requirements applicants have to fulfil can be found here.
Lost Dot, which organises the race and is run by Hall’s former partner Anna Haslock, is also offering free places on the race to the successful applicants, and says that “this opportunity is open to people who have been prevented from applying to race in the past due to financial constraints.”
Explaining the reasons for introducing the bursary, Lost Dot said: “One of the key goals of the Transcontinental race is to be accessible.
“We believe that the differentiator in adventure racing should be the aptitude, athleticism and attitude of the individuals, not the budget.
“Unsupported racing is intended to be accessible and affordable to all, just like the bicycle itself.
“This bursary fund reflects Mike Hall’s commitment to equality and Lost Dot’s ambition to lead on improving diversity, equality and inclusion within cycling through the Transcontinental Race and the community that surrounds the race.”
Lost Dot continued: “We would like the successful recipients of the bursary to represent the race as ambassadors, promoting the spirit of the Transcontinental Race and proving that you do not need deep pockets when you have passion, determination and man’s greatest invention at your disposal.
“Our ideal candidate will be someone who can assist Lost Dot in our ambition to improve diversity and inclusion within the race and ultimately cycling generally.
“We would be looking for candidates who can tell their story, from preparation and training to the finish, to a wide audience, hopefully inspiring more people to get pedalling.”
The money to fund the bursaries comes from purchases of the preliminary race manual for TCRNo8.
Lost Dot says that it will also be donating to its chosen charities, Help Refugees and Newborns Vietnam and making a smaller donation to Wikipedia, and to “a sustainable tree planting programme – Tree Sisters – to assist in offsetting some of the carbon the race produces during the year.”
This year’s race begins on Saturday 25 July in Brest on France’s Atlantic coast – the city where last year’s race ended – as it returns to the west to east route that featured in previous editions, although for the first time in the event’s history there will be no checkpoints in the Alps.
The first checkpoint will be in Roubaix, with successive ones at the Grosser Speikkogel in south east Austria, the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro and Transalpina in Romania’s Parâng mountains ahead of the finish in Burgas on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, which hosted the start of the 2019 edition.
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