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Yes. It is mandatory to use a GPS. The route is not marked, indicated or signaled on the terrain. The only way you can know the route is from the tailor-made map of the TransPortugal route the organizers will upload on to your GPS. Also the Race Rules specify that you must hand your GPS in to the organization after crossing the finishing line each day. If you haven’t got one, then your stage will not be validated and for the general classification you will be attributed a void stage and the maximum allowedtime for that stage.

There is nothing simpler. You don’t need to know anything about orienteering, nor you need to be an expert on GPSs. The only thing you do need to know is that when you look at the screen you are the arrow and the race course is a fat black line. As long as you keep the arrow on the line, then you are on course.
We even tested a GPS with a 4 year old and within a minute he was able to follow the right track.
Using a GPS there is no chance that you will get lost, and the additional information that appears on the screen means you don’t even hesitate when you come to an intersection or crossroads. Your performance on the trails will be exactly the same as if you were following course markers, with the added benefit that you are unlikely to ever take a wrong turn, and you will never get lost, unlike when you are following a marked course.


The GPS must have a colored screen, be capable of reading memory cards downloaded with maps and have a minimum recording capability of 10,000 track-log points. An USB interface is also a basic requirement.

Yes, each racer is responsible for providing his own GPS.

You can and you will get and extra discount on the Garmin price list when purchasing a GPS from us.

Garmin makes brackets for each of their GPS models. For their new models line of products the bracket is quite adequate and sufficiently sturdy to withstand and hold the GPS in place even if you ride on the jerkiest of the trails.
Nevertheless it is always advisable to implement some form of preventing the accidental loss of the GPS in case this is to come off the bracket during the race. In most cases a loose piece of string tied tight around the handlebar does the job.

As Garmin agents in Portugal, we Organizers, who are also experienced riders, have the opportunity to test several models of GPS and extensively use them in the race route throughout the year. In the most varied and adverse situations we have evaluated all variables and concluded that the Edge 1030/830 and the Oregon series of GPS are, at this moment, the best GPS for this race. Both the Edge 1030/830 and the Oregon are the most adequate and the ones that better ensure that the racer’s performance is not affected by using a GPS as the race track guidance method.
There are other models that may well do, however they won’t be as efficient and may therefore negatively impact the racer’s overall performance in the race trails. In TransPortugal the GPS is the fundamental piece of equipment, above any bike component, even above the bike itself, therefore neglecting to consider its quality and adequacy to this race by choosing a lower grade device, is not the best way to approach the preparation for the race. Considering our knowledge of the race and the data we prepared to download to the athletes’ GPS, we hereafter forward a list of GPS sorted by their race suitability:

  • 1st - Edge 1030 or 830
  • 2nd - Oregon 700/750 (or the older Oregon 600/650)
  • 3rd - Etrex Touch 35t
  • 4th - Edge 530

Please think carefully on this sentence:
- We believe that the racer who chooses an older Garmin model instead of the Edge 1030/830 or Oregon 700 for instance, will lose a lot more in the race than opting on an SLX rear derailler for his bike instead of an XTR. We do hope you all follow our advice and get one of the recommended ones.

The Race Program on Day Zero (Day 0) foresees a special period of time for the athletes to train on the first part of the Race track. This is great and should also be used to get acquainted with the GPS and its settings for the race.

Except for the Edge models, which have but an internal lithium battery, all the other above mentioned GPSs take a pair of double A alkaline or rechargeable batteries. For these you should at have at least 2 pairs of batteries. You can bring them with you or buy from the Organizers when you get here. We will have them
on sale during the race. We do recommend rechargeable NiMh batteries of at least 2500mA of capacity. From our experience, the best commercially available AA batteries, at the moment, are the Panasonic Eneloop. These will be the ones we will have on sale during the race.

In short the answer is yes, they are compatible.




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