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  TransWales 2008

historyAfter the launch event in 2006 the TransUK crew returned for another helping of welsh trails to central Wales for the 2nd ever TransWales. After the superb event in Scotland in 2007 this would be a welcome change for the regulars amongst the riders but also the chance to revisit the trails and scenery that made such a big impact on the riders of the first ever TransWales in 2006.

More than three hundred riders from 18 countries made their way to Builth Wells in August 2008 to fight out the best as well as endeavour in another adventure of unforeseen proportions.

The summer which had been disappointing with more or less constant rain and low temperatures gave the already challenging event (course distance 550km with 15.500 meters of climbing) a further twist and pushed riders, their machines and the event itself to its limits.

The opening and registration day started hopeful but bar a few hours here and there the rain decided to stay with the event almost for entire duration. Early indications showed that this would be a ride many riders would not forget for a very long time.

Sunday morning saw the riders head south towards Llandovery where the first night would wait for them with the infamous Exposure Lights Night Time Trail. The night special stage has been the highlight at every event so far and the 2008 one did not disappoint. The riders who were there to make an impression on the over all standings went straight into racing action while the riders who were just there to have a good time enjoyed the challenge of a short but action packed night race.

historyFrom Landovery the convoy headed to Brechfa Forrest before turning north and making its way all the way to Machynlleth over the next few days. Once the special stage at the Cli-max trail came to an end the riders headed back south and towards the finish line in Builth. After approximately 46 hours of riding the riders started to arrive back in Builth Wells to be greeted by the many support crews awaiting their arrival, buckets full of ice cold drinks and by the rare site of sunshine.

After everybody has arrived safely back at the finish line, the final presentation and prize giving started followed by the BikeRadar.com and RedBull sponsored finishing party.

Many tired riders were seen in the early hours of the morning glad that they didnt have to go for another ride but wishing for the next TransUK event not to be too far away.

As in the years before we had a group of journalists and photographers following the event and documenting every move of the event. To have a look at the full reports of the event check out bikemagic.com, singletarckworld.com and bikeradar.com.

The TransUK event will stay in Wales for 2009 and preparations are in full flow for 3rd TransWales which will take place from the 15th 22nd August 2009. The 2009 TransWales will see the implementation of a few changes like most special (timed) stages to be run within the linking stages (please see Concept page for details) and a substantial budget increase for showers etc. Early bookings exceeded once more all expectations and everything is set for another great event.

TransScotland 2007
2006 saw the first ever Merida TransWales MTB Stage Challenge and put this new concept of stage racing not just onto the UK event map but also left a lasting impression with the global mountain biking community.

The 2007 the Chain Reaction Cycles TransScotland (powered by Merida Bicycles) inspired 300 riders from 15 countries (as far afield as: Hong Kong, ..) to challenge the trails of the beautiful Scottish border region including a selection of the world famous 7Stanes trails.

historyOn the morning of the 27th May the field started their 7 day, 325mile (503km) long challenge, with almost 45,000ft (13,700m) of climbing! After the wet Trans Wales event in 2006 everybody hoped for some better weather to keep their tent and their equipment dry. Luckily the weather was far more generous in Scotland and even the much dreaded midges stayed away!

The field of riders was divided into 5 categories each with a leaders jersey up for grabs. Scottish Borders sponsored the Solo category, High5 took the Mixed category, Buff supported the Female category, BeOne the Male category and Gore gave their shirts out to the leaders and winners of the Veterans category.

The unique concept of combining linking (un-timed) marathon like stages with special (timed) off-road time trail stages quickly started to show who would be in the running for the over all title and for the occasional stage win.

historyThe route took the riders from Selkirk to the south east beyond Dalbeattie, before it returned via Moffat and Peebles (stopping over at Glentress for the infamous night stage) to Selkirk where all the riders were rewarded with their Merida TransScotland jerseys. (See the complete stage plan here: ) If you are interested in the daily reports from the 2006 Merida TransWales then please click here.

We did not think that we could improve on last years riding and atmosphere said co-organiser Michael Wilkens but with the weather on our side and such a mix of riders from all over the world I think the TransScotland can give the TransWales a real run for its money. Both events are so different that we should see a running of both events in the same year very soon!

As during the launch event in 2006 the Chain Reaction Cycles TransScotland was again closely followed by the press and daily updates were put on the many mountain bike websites out there. If you are intereted to read the full story of the 2nd event in the TransUK event history then check out the event diary with results and images here:

Preparations are in full flow for the 2nd TransWales which will take place from the 16th 23rd August 2008. Early bookings exceeded all expectations and everything is set for another great event. To find out more and read the complete story of the 2006 (HERE>) and 2007 (HERE>).


 

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