Logistics FAQs

Transportation from Vilamoura to Lisbon is included if you subscribe the Transfer Pack (check prices). We will provide transportation back to Lisbon, to all participants, on Monday after race at 10:30, arriving at Lisbon airport around 16:00.

If you prefer to get home by yourself there are regular buses from Vilamoura – you can get information from the town council’s website:

If you subscribe the Transfer pack (check prices), departure from Lisbon will be at 7:00 on Saturday (day 0), just the day before stage 1.
We will travel back to Lisbon on the Monday (day after last stage), leaving Vilamoura around 10:30. The earliest we will get to Lisbon is by 16:00, so please do not book a flight earlier than 16:30.

We will take care of it for you. We will have a van or a truck that will carry your bike box/bag from the Start to the Finish. Please warn us if you are bringing a bike box/bag so we make sure we have enough space for it.

We book the rooms for you for every night during the race (last sunday included). All these 9 nights are included in the paid entry fee.
Hotels in Lisbon (or some other place else) before and after the race are not included, but we can book these rooms for you. In Lutecia Smart Design Hotel which has very special rates for the event you can always mention that you are a participant of Transportugal.

You are entitled to 9 evening meals (dinner) from Chaves to Vilamoura.
On every race day, you can have some snacks at the bar of each hotel, or you can find some other bars and restaurants nearby.

The race philosophy is “hotel-to-hotel”. We believe you suffer enough during the day and deserve a warm shower and comfortable bed at night!

The least possible! You can have your own bag (max capacity 100L) or if you choose to sign the Bag Pack, we will give a race bag to each racer, and this is the only bag the Organization will transport for you during the race. Please remember we will be carrying 130+ bags each day, not just yours! So please take that in consideration and reduce the total weight as much as possible.
This high quality bag is not returnable. It is yours and a race souvenir.

Nothing. Breakfast is provided in all the hotels each morning and we will book the evening meals for all the riders. Please make sure the organization knows, well in advance, if you have special dietary requirements/allergies.
Please note that it is not always possible to cater for vegetarians who eat neither meat nor fish. This is not common in Portugal and a proper meal without these 2 ingredients can sometimes be very hard to organize. If this is your case you may consider bringing some dietary supplements.

Everything you will need during that stage. In the majority of the days the course does not pass through but tiny villages where you won’t normally find anything to suit your immediate needs, so you should have everything you need with you right from the Start.

The weather in Portugal on those dates is usually mild, nevertheless warm (higher than 25ºC) or cold days (lower than 10ºC) can occur.
Most probably we will have days of clear skies, however it won’t be much of a surprise if in one or two days we get rain and cold, alternating with showery and cloudy days – it did in some of the previous years, and a lot of people were not prepared for it.
The race goes to altitudes close to 2000m in Serra da Estrela, so expect very low temperatures up there and you may need to carry extra clothing as protection for the cold on that particular day.

There will be stages where it is possible to buy food and drinks in the villages the race passes through. However in some stages this is not the case, thus you should plan what to carry on a day by day basis in accordance with the briefing notes given for each stage, the weather forecast and your particular needs. In order to help you during the race, we have indicated POIs with all the places where you will be able to buy food and drinks. These special points will also be signaled on the track of the race on your GPS.

Next to the Finish Line or in the Race hotel, The Organizers will put up a race shop everyday where not only energy bars and isotonic drinks, but also others things like; spare tubes, nappy creams, tires, CO2 canisters, tire pumps, racing shirts and shorts, racing socks, recovery drinks, etc, can be bought.

ATM machines are very abundant in Portugal. Normally every village has at least one. However at the end of race day 6 we will be staying in a hotel that is not near a village, thus an ATM machine is not available in the vicinity of the hotel.

The Organizers do not pay for any extras in the hotels. The hotel will have an extras bill per room to be paid in full by the responsible occupants on checking out. Only accommodation, breakfast and dinner is part of the contracted entry pack, everything else is considered an extra.

We ask riders to always have their phone switched on for security reasons. We will never call a participant unless we have an emergency. Many international racers opt to buy a Portuguese SIM card for their phone during the race to avoid the cost of roaming.
You can buy one right off one of the Portuguese Mobile Service Providers in the arrivals hall of the airport.

Yes, in most of the hotels there is either free or paid wifi, or internet access booths in the lobby. In emergency cases you can always ask the Organizers for access codes to join the race mobile internet network.
Please remember that, during the race, all your belongings must compulsory be transported inside your race bag. Also take in consideration that the Organizers cannot be held responsible for any damage to whatever electronic or other equipment you carry inside your race bag.

No and Yes. We will set up a repair facility close to the finish line each day. We will have most of the common spare parts for bikes like tires, tubes, cables, chains, chain rings, cassettes, wheels, spokes, brake pads, handlebars, headsets, grips, saddles, seat posts (common sizes), disc brake rotors (common sizes and bolt patterns), derailleurs, pedals and several other minor things.
We will not carry any specific spares for rear suspension bikes, like shock absorbers, bushes, bearings etc.

Masseurs will be available after each stage each day. Massages will be provided in a hotel room, we will tell you where to go at the finishing line each day. If you are interested you should buy the massage pack available when registering, that guarantees 7 massages during the race. If bought on site during the race each 25-minute massage will cost you 60 euros.

Yes, if your companions have registered, they will get all the race information paperwork; maps, CP positions, classifications etc. Every day there will be a touristic program set up for them with a designated guide who will drive them to the points of interest along the race route.
If your companions have not signed up with us, they can get all the information about the stages in your race documents and follow the race independently.
In both cases, however, it must be remembered that companions cannot provide any assistance to the racers at any point while they are racing – this could lead to the racer being disqualified from the race.

Yes, companions can join you. If you want them to stay in the same hotel, please tell us know when you register, or as soon as possible. We will book hotels and evening meals for all companions staying at the race hotels and all payments for lodgings and meals must always be made to the Race Organization.

Mechanic FAQs

Yes. The organization of the TransPortugal Race will have a mechanical team at the end of each stage to give support to the bikes.
Also during the course of every stage, among the athletes there will be a staff rider with mechanical skills and a 4×4 vehicle to assist if necessary. Please remember that if you request assistance to the organization during the stage you will suffer time penalties (check the rules carefully).

There will be a special Service Package called “BIKE CARE D-LUX”, as described in the PRICES page, that a competitor may sign in for when registering in the race which reliefs the racer from all the work involved with the bike maintenance. This package includes a daily bike washing, drying and lubrication and all labor costs resulting from all the eventually needed repairs. The racer will hand over his or her bike at the end of each stage and the Organization will take care of it till the next morning.
Any repair work required by the riders who have not contracted the Technical Service Package mentioned above will be charged according to an hourly labour rate set out by the Organization.
Regarding the time allocation of the Race Mechanical Department those who signed in advance this “BIKE CARE D-LUX” pack, will have priority over those that have not.
In all cases parts and accessories must be paid for by the participant.
The use of the water pressure washing machines is free but priority is given to bikes belonging to those who pre-contracted the service.

We will try to make available, for eventual repairs, the widest variety of bike components.
Nevertheless it will not be possible to ensure that we carry stock of every single part, considering the variety of bikes and different components present in the race.
Having said that, we strongly advise participants to bring some of the more specific components for their own bikes, such as: rear suspension repair kits, rear dropouts, seat post clamps and any “not-so-common” part.
We stock a large amount of brake pads, but it’s always a good idea to bring some of your own.
Needless to say some of the most important bits should be carried with you during the stages
(brake pads, dropouts, etc…), the rest you can leave in your bag.
The organization will not carry any bulky bike part, such as wheels or frames that does not normally fit inside the regular athlete´s race bag.

Yes. We’ll have an official race shop every day at the end of each stage where you can buy some components/accessories as well as nutrition products. Here is a list of what can be bought locally:

Chain lube
Patching kits
CO2 cartridges
Tire sealant
Nutrition bars and gels
Recovery / isotonic drinks
Nappy cream

The TransPortugal Race course has a wide variety of terrain. From old Roman and medieval cobblestone roads to sharp or loose rocks paths alternating with fast rolling hard pack dirt roads and some technical single-tracks, we have it all!
An “all-around” tire (whatever that is) would be the best option although the choice must be made according to each rider’s riding technique and race objectives.
Proper tubeless tires with a glycol base self-sealant liquid are a “must have” and are in fact a much better option to the tubeless ready tires with latex based self-sealant. The later being a much lighter setup is only recommended to light riders who have good riding skills.
Please check Keith Bontrager’s opinion in his diary, at the cycling news website, written as a balance of his participation in a previous edition of this race: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/riders/2006/diaries/keith/?id=keith0604
Just to close this tire issue we must say that maybe 50% of all technical problems occurring in the race resulting in loss of performance, are tires or tubes related.
The other 50% are gear / shifting problems, but we’ll get to that point.

TransPortugal is an individual stage race, 8 days / 1000km with a total climbing of more than 17.000m. It is extremely important that every bike has a comprehensive full service in preparation for the race. Coming for a podium position or just for “fun”, the worst thing that can happen to any racer is to be forced to drop out because of “that” bike part you thought it “might” hold, didn’t.
We strongly recommend:

  • New chain / gear set
  • New inner and outer cables
  • New tires
  • New brake pads
  • Service forks / shocks, pedals, bottom bracket, wheels

For those who bring a full suspension bike either replace or bring a new set of bearings / bushes for the rear triangle and shock.
Although obvious for most of you, it’s never too much repeating;
Do not make major changes in your bike before the race, especially if that has any impact with the way you ride and or position on the bike.
It’s not the best time to try that new saddle or pair of pedals you read so favorable about, in your favorite Internet bike forum.
Nor you should change the stem from 90mm/10º to 100mm/-5º just because it’s more racing.
Least but not last, take your bike for a long ride after you picked it up from the bike shop you has it serviced before the race.
If anything has to fail, let it fail while you still have plenty of time to get it fixed.

Based on previous editions observations we can say that there isn’t an ideal bike configuration for this race, or on the other hand, there are many.
It all depends on one´s goal. If winning the race is your prime objective, then a rigid light bike would be the perfect weapon.
On the other hand, if finishing inside the cut off time without a lot body pain, is what goes for you, then a not so light full suspension may be the best option.
Regarding frame materials, carbon fiber and its new production technologies, has, in the recent past, proven to be the winning formula both for FS and HT bikes.
Titanium for a rigid bike is a classic for long distances and its plush ride adds comfort when you
spend many hours on the saddle.
Aluminium for a rigid bike is probably the least recommended material due to its harsh response to rough terrain, imposing a lot of body fatigue which one wants to avoid as much as possible in a long staged race like this.
Please, don’t go rushing to the shop to buy a new bike. This is a personal opinion and as you know this is a very sensitive subject.
More important than the frame material is the component choice.
The relation between weight and reliability of the components chosen is very important to assemble a good bike capable of racing flawlessly the entire route of TransPortugal yet providing true racing feeling.

Enjoy your rides and get in touch if you need any kind of help.


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.