Jones completes gruelling race
Bermudian Jonah Jones has completed the Transcontinental Bike Race in Europe, one of the most gruelling amateur bike races in the world.
The “self-supported” event calls for the riders to plot and support their own way across several countries, from Geraardsbergen, Belgium to the finish in Meteora, Greece, passing through four checkpoints along the route.
The racers made their own paths through Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania and finally Greece.
Some 254 riders set off to climb the cobbles of the Muir out of on July 29. Yesterday the finish control point closed exactly 17 days later. By yesterday, a few hours before time was called on the official race, 106 riders had finished, 91 scratched and 64 remained active in the field.
Jones, wearing cap No 81, was one rider who was not going to make the cut-off for general classification. On Facebook, he posted: “A successful early ascent of CP4 was meant to mark the beginning of a solid surge south with designs on making the finish line closing on Wednesday night. Plans went awry in a major way though.
“Unlike the other riders I summited CP4 with, I did not return to the hotel for breakfast but took a shortcut to crack straight on. I very quickly took a wrong (or bad data) turn onto a series of logging tracks that dropped me deep into the woods. What entailed was a 13-hour ordeal of grinding up and down 2,500 metres of gravel. I flogged myself up ridiculous inclines and gingerly descended ribbons of loose shale for mile after mile.
“Fearful of coming off and aggravating my recent fracture. There was beauty for sure but the only beauty I was interested in was my JoJo waiting for me in Meteora and it was slipping away. As hard as the grind uphill was on the energy levels, the downhills were bone jarring. I came close to cracking today, very close indeed. But it has occurred to me that Mike is throwing in one more test to see if I got what it takes.”