C Canada’s Dussault 4th at Transcontinental Race
anadian rider Geoffroy Dussault (@teamgris) finished the extreme, unsupported 4,000km 2017 PEdAL ED Transcontinental Race from Belgium to Greece in fourth place. His result was even more remarkable as Dussault was hit by a car in Italy. His bicycle sustained damage but luckily he was uninjured.
Dussault, previously with Garneau-Quebecor, left Belgium on July 28 and covered the
4,000km journey in 10 days, reaching the finish line in Greece on Aug. 7. The race was won by British rider James Hayden, who finished on Aug. 6 with a time of eight days, 23 hours and 14 minutes. It was the race’s fifth annual staging.
The incident in Italy occurred on Aug. 1 and caused Dussualt ongoing mechanical problems during the rest of his ride. Only a few days earlier, the tragic death of Dutch participant Frank Simons stunned everyone, as some reports suggested he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
“Frank Simons’ death in the early hours of this race is a tragedy that has affected the cycling community deeply, and will continue to affect everyone close to the Transcontinental for a long time to come,” read a statement on the event website.
The damage to Dussault’s bike was addressed initially by a bike shop in Italy. “Philippe and his team succeeded in restoring my rear wheel so that it is functional,” wrote Dussault on Facebook. Later, he needed a replacement wheel and a “clandestine” bike shop in Slovakia installed a mountain bike wheel compatible with his road bike.
The 300 riders who participated in this year’s event were free to choose their own itineraries but had to pass fixed control points. Dussault travelled from Geraardsbergen, Belgium, heading for Schloss Lichtenstein, making the 600km trip to the first control in less than 24 hours.
The next control point was Semonzo, Italy, where Dussault arrived at 10:56 a.m. on July
31. From there he headed for The High Tatras, Slovakia. where he arrived at 9:12 on Aug. 3, followed by a stop in Romania at 3:43 p.m. on Aug. 5. He finally reached the finish at the Meteora Monasteries near Kalambaka, Greece, at 10 p.m. on Aug. 7.
Dussault planned his route, making hotel reservations along the way, but generally
“dined” at gas stations to save time. A major challenge was hot weather of about 40° C and he had to drink a lot of water to prevent heatstroke.
Dussault’s girlfriend awaited him at the finish in Meteora and the couple spent a few days relaxing in Greece before heading back to Quebec City. Dussault says his next big challenge is to start a family.
Dussault celebrates with his girlfriend at the finish in Greece.
Quebec’s Geoffroy Dussault claimed fourth overall at the 4,000km Transcontinental Race in Europe.
A shop helped repair Dussault’s wheel after he was hit by a car in Italy.