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August 24, 2011

24th August: Well done everybody & great Vito Cam video

We have just returned from the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport and to cut a long story short had a fantastic time.

The feedback we have received so far has been fantastic and we would like to congratulate everyone again who made it to what looks like the last TransWales in the current format.

Our press team has been super busy throughout the week feeding the information from the event to quite a few websites and magazines out there…so be prepared to see some GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales stuff not just in the next few days but probably also in the next few months. You guys can find the daily reports form the whole week on www.bikemagic.com, www.sleepmonsters.co.uk, www.cyclistno1.co.uk,
www.singletrackworld.com and on the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales 2011 event website (see links below).

Vito Cam Video
Our sponsor Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport have sent out their camera team to the TransWales again and have put a nice little video together. Enjoy!!

Images
The vast picture gallery from our marathon and TransWales photographer Jon Brook can be found on his usual site: www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk.

In case you missed the reports!
You can find all the reports with results and some images on the TransWales website. So get yourself a cuppa sit back and enjoy the report form the 7 days of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales 2011, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport :
Day 1 – 14th August: Sunday report
Day 2 – 15th August: Monday report
Day 3 – 16th August: Tuesday report
Day 4 – 17th August: Wednesday report
Day 5 – 18th August: Thursday report
Day 6 – 19th August: Friday report
Day 7 – 20th August: Saturday report

The last time?
As it looks this year was the last time we run the TransWales in its current format. We have been working on a few plans for next year and hopefully will be able to get some more details out in the next few weeks.  It will be similar to the TransWales but different and we will hopefully see lost of you regular Trans riders at the event as well as lots of new folk.

Thank you for your support.
We would like to send a bi thank you to all our supports of the 2011 event – without them, the TransWales would never have become a reality. Thank you.
GORE BIKE WEAR® www.gorebikewear.co.uk
Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport www.vitosport.co.uk
Buff Headwear www.buffwear.co.uk
Merida Bikes www.merida.com
Alpina helmets www.alpina-helmets.co.uk
Birzman tools www.birzman.co.uk
Schwalbe tyres www.schwalbe.co.uk
Saris racks www.saris.com
High5 nutrition www.high5-online.com
Exposure Lights www.exposurelights.com

The final day of the very last GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport comes to a close with the crowning of this year’s champions following a dramatic finale

Linking Stage Seven (including Special Stage Six)

Cilycwm to Builth Wells

Total distance: 60km

Climbing: 1600m

The final day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport would bring the riders home and full circle after seven days and 536km (333 miles) and 15,260m (1,758,530ft) of climbing. It’s been a tough cookie for sure, but the

A wet start at the beginning of the day gradually faded as the riders got closer to Builth Wells.

battle weary riders knew that this would be the final push, the one that would see them complete the epic challenge that is the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport. But then there was the sting the tail: the final – and deciding – special stage. For some, the last chance to haul their way up the rankings; for others, the final gurn-inducing effort before a well earned cold beer, or three. But for all, the satisfaction of meeting the challenges of the TransWales head-on.

The final linking stage was a relatively sedate affair, which struck out from Cilycwm and made its way into the Irfon Forest trails that lie to the west of Llanwrytd Wells. After convulsing around and up and down the contours for the final flurry of wild biking fun, the route then hit the black top for the run in to Builth Wells to ease the riders’ legs home before the final sprint special stage.

Rob Brown having it on the final ever stage of the TransWales. Rob would finally finish 9th overall in the Schwalbe Men’s Solo category.

With the overall classification in many of the categories still very much up for grabs, this was the chance for the underdogs to fight back and cause an upset at the final hurdle. For Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) in the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category, who before the special stage was just 1sec behind the overall leader, Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC), this is exactly what he did. In just 2km – with 85m of climbing – Whittaker more than made up the 1sec deficit. Indeed, he as good as twisted the knife by not only winning the final special stage in 6mins 40secs ahead of Jones – who had to settle for third in the end – but by doing it with a 20secs advantage. This meant that Whittaker finished the TransWales as he started it – on top. In doing so, he secured the crown in one of the most hard-fought veteran races the event has ever seen – a battle that was testament to the competitive spirits, fitness, and bike handling ability of Jones and Whittaker themselves. Andy Roberts (Unattached) took third place in the overall, some 4mins behinds the duelling pair.

Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos) sprints home to take the final special stage win in the Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

Elsewhere, in the Merida Bikes Male Pairs category another pairing found the extra power in their legs to really make the difference. Peter and Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos) had been flying all week and had touched the podium previously but had always fallen just short of being in up for the overall contention. But with the final special stage they got a double whammy: they won the final special stage in 6mins 58secs ahead of both Mark Wright and Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger) and the category leaders, Simon Harrison and Robin Calverley (RAF CC). This result was enough to lift the Bronto-Chaos pair into third overall, behind the flying high overall winners, the RAF boys – who never left the podium all week – and Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger).

The pairing of Elizabeth Adams and Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28) in the Buff Headwear Female Pairs category continued their winning streak ahead of Steph Fountain and Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle) in the special stage by some 25+secs, with the perennial third place pair of Kelly Clark and Cath Hempsall (Unattached) rounding out the special stage podium. The result was enough to maintain the Team Number 28’s 3min lead in the overall to comfortably secure them the overall crown.

The Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category has been an interesting one as the latter part of the week has seen the special stage podiums dominated by the 4-day min-TransWales riders, with the full seven day warriors lagging behind from being battle weary. However, the final special stage was slightly different as the second-placed in the overall standings pairing of Ben Barden and Chris Putnam (White Spirit) decided to break up the interlopers party somewhat. They put in a sterling effort after seven days of riding in their legs to take third place in the special stage. Although they were beaten on the day by both Richard Hoyte and Simon Alun (Dirty Habit), and Martyn Bramhall and Mick Fairest (Sheffield Phoenix), White Spirit’s grit and determination cemented their second place in the overall rankings some 30secs behind the overall winners, Dave Sheppard and Trevor Marshall (MAMIL). Third place in the overall went to the best of the 4-day mini-TransWales riders, Richard Hoyte and Simon Alun (Dirty Habit).

In the Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category the pairing of Katie Vaughan and Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association) continued to dominate the competition. They put in a sterling effort to take the stage win in a time of 8mins 12secs – some 23secs ahead of second placed Johanita Swanepoel and Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe). Cameltoe had themselves put in a final push to secure second in the special stage 55secs ahead of third placed John and Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates). Sadly, this final push was a genuine case of too little too late as they failed to make up enough time on Align Pilates to overtake them in the overall. In the end, Cameltoe finished 23secs behind second placed Align Pilates, with Katie Vaughan and Andrew Heywood taking the overall crown in emphatic style.

Coming into the final special stage, Fi Spotswood (Cyclist No 1) was just over a minute behind the category leader, Hannah Thorne (Unattached), in the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category. Although the course was a sprint stage and both Thorne and Spotswood had been trading places throughout the TransWales, Spotswood wasn’t giving up. Lighting up the afterburners right from the get go, she dug deep and buried herself on the climb and careered down the descent and to the finish line like a woman possessed. Her efforts weren’t in vain however, as she secured the stage win ahead of Thorne by just under 2secs. Spotswood may not have made up the gap in the overall to claw her back to parity with Thorne in the overall but she can certainly hold her head up high after a fight well fought. For Thorne, however, the glory of improving on last year’s second place by taking the overall Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category crown for 2011 was certainly an achievement to savour.

Singlespeeder Matt Williams took the fight to the gear freaks by claiming third overall in the Schwalbe Men’s Solo category. Sterling effort.

The final showdown in the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category had been shaping up to be a thrilling climax to the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport and it certainly did not disappoint. Coming into the final special stage Nepal’s Ajay Chhetri (Torq) was trailing the overall leader, Matt Page (Wiggle) by just 39secs. Having made up 30-odd secs on the previous special stage it was conceivable that Chhetri could produce something dramatic. He certainly went off from the start line with a mind to do nothing short of it. By the time he crossed the line to finish he ensured that he’d posted the quickest time of the entire special stage, winning it in a time of 6mins 5secs. Another planet aligned in his favour as his chief rival, Matt Page, did not finish second fastest; that honour fell to Matt Williams (Unattached) who finished 5secs slower than Chhetri. In the end however, Page crossed the line just 7secs slower than Chhetri to take third on the day and in doing so, secure the overall title by 32secs. Congatulations.

The 2011 GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport Champions are:

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 48:27:12

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 48:13:11

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

Matt Page (Wiggle): 48:04:27

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 48:16:24

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 48:56:46

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 48:26:12

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 48:10:14

Sadly, this year’s event was the last TransWales but it has certainly finished on a high with one of the most closely fought competitions the event has ever seen. Congratulations to all the winners as well as all the other finishers for doing themselves proud, and a massive thank you to every single rider who has embraced the spirit of the TransWales over the years. Quite simply, it would’ve been nothing without you.

The organizers would like to thank all their sponsors over the years for their belief, vision, and support – without them, the TransWales would never have become a reality. Thank you.

GORE BIKE WEAR® www.gorebikewear.co.uk

Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport www.vitosport.co.uk

Buff Headwear www.buffwear.co.uk

Merida Bikes www.merida.com

Alpina helmets www.alpina-helmets.co.uk

Birzman tools www.birzman.co.uk

Schwalbe tyres www.schwalbe.co.uk

Saris racks www.saris.com

High5 nutrition www.high5-online.com

Exposure Lights www.exposurelights.com

Thanks for reading and riding – here’s to riding bikes and having a bloomin’ great time doing it. Happy trails folks, wherever they may take you…

SPECIAL STAGE SIX RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 08:26.355

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 08:54.005

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 10:03.900

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos): 06:58.450

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 07:04.405

3 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 07:05.145

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 06:05.410

2 – Matt Williams (Unattached): 06:10.620

3 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 06:13.850

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 07:31.940

2 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 07:33.160

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 09:11.720

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Richard Hoyte & Simon Alun (Dirty Habit): 08:15.310

2 – Martyn Bramhall & Mick Fairest (Sheffield Pheonix): 09:03.850

3 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 09:55.225

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 08:12.390

2 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 08:35.43

3 – John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 09:30.325

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 06:40.220

2 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 06:53.640

3 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 07:00.100

FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 48:27:12

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 48:30:19

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 48:41:59

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 48:13:11

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 48:14:42

3 – Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos): 48:19:52

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 48:04:27

2 – Ajay Chhatri (Torq): 48:04:59

3 – Matt Williams (Unattached): 48:07:52

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 48:16:24

2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 48:17:36

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 48:36:32

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 48:56:46

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 48:57:15

3 – Richard Hoyte & Simon Alun (Dirty Habit): 28:44:43

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 48:26:12

2 – John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 48:35:01

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 48:58:38

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 48:10:14

2 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 48:10:33

3 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 48:14:18

Final Special Stage SOLO results: SOLO RESULTS (6th special stage) TW 2011

Final Special Stage TEAM results: TEAM RESULTS (6th special) TW 2011

Over All  SOLO results: SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

Over All TEAM results: TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

The week in one SOLO: SOLO RESULTS (the whole week) TW 2011

The week in one TEAM: TEAM RESULTS (the whole week) TW 2011

For images of the event please check www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk…but please give Jon Brooke a couple of days to sort the images out.

More from us soon.

One of the best day’s riding brought the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport one step closer to deciding its champions after the fiery Exposure Lights night time special stage

Linking stage Six (including Special Stage Five)

Cwmystwyth to Cilycwm

Total distance: 74km

Climbing: 2000m

The penultimate day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport began under dry skies and continued to enjoy good weather for its entire duration. Although the day’s linking stage was an undeniably

After a long day in the saddle its home, finally to Cilycwm safe in the knowledge that only one more day lies ahead.

good day in the saddle, it couldn’t hold a candle to the elbows out, singletrack rocket thrills and spills that the fifth special stage – the Exposure Lights night time special stage – had in store.

Riders left the picturesque campsite at Blaenycwm at the foot of yesterday’s final descent near Cwmystwyth at 9am and, after a brief spin down the valley, struck across the river and onto rocky double track that hitched up into woodland and eventually climbed up towards the remotely picturesque Teifi Lakes. For some, feeling a little worse for wear due to a late night of reveling thanks to cheap beer and a cracking three piece band, the start was a little slower than normal. However it wasn’t long before their minds moved from focusing on their hangovers to the rugged descent that unfurled before them from the top of the Bryn Llyn Egnant at 480m; with its snaking single and double track that continuously dropped away across river crossings and carving singletrack, it was a good way to shake out the dregs of excess.

The final – but long – singletrack surge of the day’s linking stage down the Doethie Valley trail.

After losing altitude, the riders were then swept along and into the Tywi Forest’s stupidly fun water crossings. The riders careered down a rocky jeep track that melded seamlessly from jeep track into river bed, through fords, standing puddles, and back once again to rocky jeep track as the trail criss-crossed the river, shadowing the water’s descent further towards the Llyn Brianne Reservoir.

After climbing up and out of the forest, the trail headed west until it hit the river Doethie. It then turned and headed south flanking this picturesque watercourse along a ribbon of singletrack for some 5km. Both remote and enthralling, this trail is a gem that rounded out the day’s linking stage in fine style. Then the rider hit the black top for a few miles down towards the stage end at Cilycwm. For those still with plenty of watts left in their legs – and the fore-knoweldge that the final leg of the linking stage passes the venue for the Exposure Lights night time special stage – an impromptu singletrack diversion was head to pre-ride the great Cwm-y-Rhaiadr trail.

The trail consists of around 10 minutes of fire track climbing that then gives way to steep singletrack climbing before finally summiting. The trail then forces the riders to stare down the barrel of a 3km singletrack super gun, with plenty of whoops, berms, and more flow than an Alpine river swelled with meltwater.

When darkness fell a few riders sat out the stage nursing very tired bodies, broken bikes, and various maladies inbetween. For those that put the Psiren-like call of their beds to one side, the rewards were numerous. For the leader of the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category, Matt Page (Wiggle), his home advantage (he lives literally down the road from the trail) proved insurmountable for the valiant efforts of Ajay Chhetri (Torq), who had to settle for a close second just 9secs behind Page, with Scott Cornish (Unattached) taking his second third place in a row another 25secs behind. This result sees Page extend his lead from Chhatri to 39secs with one special stage to go.

The Exposure Lights night time special stage truly got the adrenaline pumping as well as producing some very close racing.

In the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category Hannah Thorne (Unattached) extended her lead in the overall by taking another special stage win 26secs ahead of Fit Spotswood (Cyclist No 1). Like, Page, this sees Thorne stretch out her lead in the overall by over a minute. With the final special stage being a 2km sprint stage it would take Herculean efforts from Chhatri and Spotswood, or some catastrophe for Page and Thorne, to lose their leads. But, there are no certainties when it comes to racing and only after the final results have been confirmed will we know who are the winners and losers.

Elsewhere, things are not quite so clear cut, particularly in the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category: Paul Whittaker’s (Stockport Clarion CC) second consecutive special stage win saw him claw back much of the deficit he had accrued behind Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC) in the overall. His winning margin over Jones on the Exposure Lights night time special stage of 35secs was good enough to bring Whittaker within just 1sec of Jones’ overall lead; a result that will guarantee balls-out racing on the final special stage as both fight tooth and nail to secure the 2011 overall title. Rest assured – there will be fireworks.

Tomorrow sees the climax of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport as it heads home to bring the riders full circle at Builth Wells. It will be the shortest linking stage of the entire event at a relatively paltry 60km and 1600m of climbing, but before the riders can cross the finish line for the final time there’s the small matter of the short but sweet – and deciding – special stage. It may be just 2km but it packs 85km of climbing in there and will wring the final dregs of power out of all the riders. But then, when they finally haul up to stop the suffering will be no more and the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport 2011 champions will be crowned.

EXPOSURE LIGHTS NIGHT TIME SPECIAL STAGE (FIVE) RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 26:07.215

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 27:26.335

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 29:46.110

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 22:14.550

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 22:20.785

3 – Ben Warrick & David Evans (Unattached): 22:51.130

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 19:27.190

2 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 19:36.570

3 – Scott Cornish (Unattached): 20:01.780

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 22:57.650

2 –Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 23:23.000

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 28:47.120

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Richard Hoyte & Simon Alun (Dirty Habit): 25:24.700

2 – Martyn Bramhall & Mick Fairest (Sheffield Pheonix): 28:17.590

3 – Steven Williams & Paul Smith (East Midlands Airport): 30:15.685

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 25:55.610

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 29:43.160

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 46:28.000

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 20:51.860

2 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 21:26.980

3 – Nick Harwood (Unattached): 23:05.620

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 42:18:46

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 42:21:25

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 42:31:55

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 42:06:06

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 42:07:38

3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 42:12:53

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 41:58:14

2 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 41:58:53

3 – Matt Williams (Unattached): 42:01:42

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 42:08:51

2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 42:10:04

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 42:27:21

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 42:46:48

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 42:47:20

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 42:17:59

2 – John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 42:25:31

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 42:50:02

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 42:03:33

2 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 42:03:34

3 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 42:07:24

EXPOSURE LIGHTS Night Stage SOLO results: SOLO RESULTS (5th special – night stage) TW 2011

EXPOSURE LIGHTS Night Stage TEAM results: TEAM RESULTS (5th special – night stage) TW 2011

Over All SOLO results (after six days): SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

Over All TEAM results (after six days): TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

Five linking stages and four special stages in the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sportis taking shape amidst some stunning scenery and scorching riding…

Linking Stage FIve (including Special Stage Four)

Machynlletyh to Cymystwyth

Total distance: 75km

Climbing: 2400m

Day five took the riders from Machynlleth to Cwmystwyth, some 73km and 2300m of climbing south the fifth linking stage of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport struck out towards the fourth special stage at Nant-y-Arian. Today’s special stage would see drama, fight backs and significant changes in the overall classification that proved that although the fat lady was preparing to warm up her vocal chords, she’s decided against it and gone for a drink instead. The fight is not yet over – by any stretch of the imagination.

The Afon Hengwm river crossing before Nant-y-Moch reservoir was just about rideable with a serious dose of gritty determination and a dash of luck. Most tried before plumping to cool their toes off in the chilly waters.

After leaving Machynlleth, the riders climbed through woodland up to Mynydd Bychan at 493m. The woods gave way to stunning wilderness sprinkled liberally with sheep and stone walls, speared by rocky drovers track that made its way to the river crossing of Afon Hengwm. After some wet feet the trail continued its tumbling way to the stunning Nant-y-Moch reservoir that’s situated in a remote saddle. Skirting its shores saw the riders join the outreach of the natural trail component of Nant-y-Arian’s Continental trail: a superb blend of flowing manmade singletrack together with an ‘out there’ feel. Following it against the flow brought the riders to the start of the day’s special stage at Nant-y-Arian at Liyn Syfydrin. Unlike yesterday’s special stage which favoured the descenders, today’s was undoubtedly one for the climbers.

The 8km trail centre loop stage began with a sequence of wide rocky climbs and fast descents, before plunging into carving singletrack that switchbacked down the hillside, and kept on going. And going. It finally came to an end at the valley floor where the only way was up. In this case: two miles of relentless and sustained gradient on the infamous fireroad climb, the Leg Burner. It was do or die rhythm time. After the summit the trail swung left for one last short but sharp singletrack dash to the finish.

Prior to the start of today’s special stage, the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category looked as though Matt Page (Wiggle) was on his way to taking the overall win as he had a leading margin of almost a minute. However, the smart money was down on Ajay Chhetri (Torq) to light the afterburners on the Leg Burner climb to claw back some of that deficit. If a sweepstake had been made then a decent lump of cash would’ve been made as Chhatri lived up to expectation and truly smashed the 8km course in an incredibly fast 21mins 15secs. In fact, his time was so swift that it

Hannah Thorne (Unattached) put in a convincing performance today, despite having to CX dismount and jump over a crashed rider in front of her. She also had the good grace to see if he was alright before she swung leg back over steed and hit the singletrack.

destroyed the previous course record set by Jonathan Pugh in 2009 by a massive 1min 40secs. The net result of Chhatri’s heroics is that he took the stage win, reduced Page’s overall lead down by half to 29secs, and in doing so has moved up into second in the general classification once again.

In the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category, Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) dug deep and put in a sterling effort to reacquaint himself with the top spot of the podium; he took the win ahead of Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC) by 40secs in a time of 22mins 59secs – itself a good enough time to have secured him fifth in the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category. This result sees Whittaker move up to second in the overall, 36secs behind Jones, with Andy Roberts (Unattached) moving down to third over a minute behind Whittaker.

The Buff Headwear Female Pairs category has seen a great battle so far between the top two teams – Elizabeth Adams and Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28), and Steph Fountain and Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle) – and today was no different. After Saddle Skedaddle’s win yesterday on the Climachx special stage Team Number 28 were out to exact revenge. And they did just that. And then some. They took the win by an impressive 1min and 36secs over Saddloe Skeddadle, in a time of 28mins 11secs. Kelly Clark and Cath Hempsall (Unattached) took third place. This sees the overall lead change over yet again with Team Number 28 returning to the lead, with Saddle Skedaddle 1min 40secs ahead behind.

In the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category there was all to play for as Fi Spotswood (Cyclist No 1) and Hannah Thorne (Unattached) were – on paper – both capable of engineering an advantage over the other. After Thorne’s second place at last year’s GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport to the UK’s 24 Solo National Champion, Rickie Cotter (Wiggle), she obviously has the thirst to go one better this year. Over the last two

The first section of the special stage was fast, pumpy and a helluva lot of fun.

days her confidence on the descents has been in contrast to Spotswood’s, and the win in the downhill special stage has obviously given her the impetus to consolidate her gains. On today’s special stage her climbing ability was the only question mark, however she resolutely silenced her critics by producing a ride in a class of her own. She was the only female racer to go sub-26mins, finishing the special stage in 25mins 26secs – a clear 39secs ahead of Spotswood. Coming in third was a new face for the podium in the form of Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store), who completed the stage in 30mins 57secs. This sees Thorne extend her lead in the overall classification to 47secs ahead of Spotswood, with Buckingham also taking third in the overall.

Tomorrow’s Exposure Lights night time special stage on the 6km Cwm-y-Rhaiadr trail –  which is essentially a long and sustained fireroad and singletrack climb, and then one massive sweeping and exhilarating singletrack descent – should be a nail biter. The climb will help Chhatri make up the 29secs he’s down on Page by, however Page has proved the stronger overall descender; coupled with this, he has a home advantage as he lives in Cilycwm just down the road so knows the trails well. But as previous year’s have shown, the Exposure Lights night time special stage can throw added drama into the mix with punctures and tyre slashes aplenty, plus Chhatri can more than hold is own on the singletrack. In essence, the win is very much still either of theirs and tomorrow could help decide who will be crowned and who will be consoled.

Cyclist No 1’s Gary Lake having it on the Nant y Arian special stage

Before that, however, there’s the small matter of the sixth linking stage that takes the riders from Cymystwyth to Cilycwm, some 74km and 2000m of climbing away. Not only that, but tomorrow’s linking stage is expected to be one of the best days riding of the entire GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport. Featuring the classic Doethie Valley – an awesome 5km singletrack descent that flanks the River Doethie below on a mere ribbon of singletrack – as well as the famous Strata Florida river crossings that sees the trail flit through various rivers and tributaries countless times down a pinball trail that – as long as you get your head around the fact that you’re going to get very wet – is ridiculous good fun. It will be a great day to savour and will be full of drama, great trails, thrills and by the day’s end we’ll be one step closer to crowning the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport Champions for 2011.

SPECIAL STAGE THREE RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 28:11.457

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 29:52.829

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 33:24.385

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 24:23.163

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 25:17.827

3 – Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos): 26:09.845

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 21:15.723

2 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 21:45.570

3 – Scott Cornish (Unattached): 22:08.847

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 25:26.993

2 –Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 26:05.387

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 30:57.303

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Martyn Bramhall & Mick Fairest (Sheffield Pheonix): 29:05.180

2 – Richard Hoyte & Simon Alun (Dirty Habit): 29:36.119

3 – Steven Williams & Paul Smith (East Midlands Airport): 33:42.080

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 28:31.631

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 29:31.982

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 34:09.768

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 22:59.203

2 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 23:49.000

3 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 25:03.410

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 35:22:39

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 35:23:59

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 35:31:36

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 35:13:52

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 35:15:17

3 – Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto-Chaos): 35:19:16

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 35:08:46

2 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 35:09:17

3 – Matt Williams (Unattached): 35:10:49

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 35:15:54

2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 35:16:41

3 – Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store): 35:28:09

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 35:30:20

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 35:43:16

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 35:22:04

2 – John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 35:25:40

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 35:33:15

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 35:12:06

2 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 35:12:42

3 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 35:14:17

SOLO results on the 4th special stage: SOLO RESULTS (4th special) TW 2011

TEAM results on the 4th special stage: TEAM RESULTS (4th special) TW 2011

SOLO results OVER ALL after 5 days: SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

TEAM results OVER ALL after 5 days: TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

The fourth day of the GORE BIKE WEAR TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport was full of thrills and spills aplenty, laced with lashings of drama as the third special stage played out

Linking stage four (including Special Stage Three)

Llandidloes to Machynlleth

Total distance: 84km

Climbing: 2250m

The riders chew the breeze before setting off from Llandiloes

The fourth day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport rolled out of Llandiloes at 9am under promising skies as yesterday’s rains receded into memory. The riders warmed their weary legs up on the Tarmac before hitting the dirt to follow the River Severn towards its source in Hafren Forest.

After navigating the Cadbury Flake like folds of the forest the riders left the wooded darkness behind to climb Penycrocben at 469m – an open moor which was the site of a Roman fortlet that today merely guards stunning views to the south east. The trail then gently sped downwards towards a tricky rocky chute that spat riders onto a bridge before a short hike-a-bike.

Riders then headed to the highest point of the day – Foel Fadian at 564m – before plunging downwards into the Dovey Valley over a tricky wet rock slab that claimed more than a few victims. Both steep and slippery it was an intimidating drop over the summit and straight into its merciless maw. Many chose to dismount and walk, leaving only the

Hannah Thorne on her way to take the overall lead in the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

foolhardy and the skillful to tackle it head on. The smoothest and fastest rider down was Hannah Thorne (Unattached), currently placed second in the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category. Her form was outstanding and boded well for her attack on the downhill special stage on the Climachx trail at the end of the day.

After the lunch stop the trail hooked up into the woods that hide the infamous – and oft overlooked – Climachx trail. The riders climbed and careered deeper into the wood’s depth depths, getting into the swooping singletrack groove before they arrived at the crunch point of the day: the downhill special stage. With so many categories still running so close, today’s special stage was the opportunity for the gravity gifted to nose ahead of their rivals in the overall classification.

Beginning off a rolling start down some fireroad it swoops downwards on undulating singletrack and into the woods for an extended section of flowing but rockier terrain. Stone slabs and steps pepper the descent as it snakes its way around the flanks of Myndd-Fron-Felen, with the first third seeing a tricky rocky section which only the smoothest conquer, whilst others opt to run. The trail then careers faster and faster along sumptuous singletrack until the bermalicious crescendo.

After the rotor pinging finish to the special stage, the riders warmed down with a black top spin to the day’s end at Machynlleth. The town itslef itself, once the capital of Wales, is the British capital of alternative technology. More importantly, it isn’t short of a few pubs either which the riders made full use of to calm nerves and soothe legs before the fifth linking stage on Thursday morning.

After the dust settled from the days racing, Matt Page (Wiggle) had extended his lead in the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category with an emphatic win on the Climachx trail, clocking the day’s best time of 8mins 26secs, 8secs faster than second placed James Davies (Brooks Cycles) – who makes his first podium of the event. Nepal’s Ajay Chhetri (Torq) crossed the line 44secs down in seventh – his lowest placing of the event so far. This has meant that the overall standings have changed, with Page extending his lead to 58secs over the new second placed Davies, with Chhetri nipping at his heels just 2secs back. With the Leg Burner climb on the menu for tomorrow’s special stage at Nant-y-Arian its conceivable that Chhetri can make back a chunk of time as he’s shown his climbing prowess is significantly stronger than Page’s.

In the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category a New Zealander Hannah Thorne (Unattached) lived up to the promise that her form prophecised on the Foel Fadian slab descent by smashing the Climachx trail to win by a clear 21secs ahead of Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1). Unfortunately for Natasha Berry (BikeLux/Progression), she finished almost a minute behind Spotswood – a result that sees her drifting out of contention for the overall 2mins 23secs down on the new category leader Hannah Thorne, with Spotswood also displaced into second.

The Climachx downhill special stage’s slippery conditions under tyre couldn’t dampen the fiery competition

Elsewhere, the Buff Headwear Female Pairs saw Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle) finally make the top step in the special stage in a emphatic style by storming home in a time of 11mins 11 secs a minute faster than second placed Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28).

In the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk) came back from a high speed crash on the linking stage that left him battered and bruised with a destroyed helmet, to take third place on the special stage, 20secs behind second placed Andy Roberts (Unattached), and 40secs behind the stage winner Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC). Jones’ won in 8mins 56secs – a margin that saw him extend his lead in the overall by a minute over Roberts, who moves up into second, with Cousins dropping back to third.

Tomorrow’s fifth linking stage will take the riders from Machynlleth to Cymystwyth some 75km and 2400m of climbing away. Along the way the riders will tackle the fourth special stage – another trail centre loop time trial – on the fine Nant-y-Arian trails. With the Leg Burner climb in the mix and a lot of descending it should be a level playing field for both climbers and downhillers alike; the racing should be close but whoever edges ahead here may well claw themselves a small yet significant advantage with just two special stages remaining. With all to play for in many of the categories, it’s certainly not over ‘til the fat lady sings, although there’s a chance she may well begin her vocal exercises tomorrow.

SPECIAL STAGE THREE RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 11:11.490

2 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 12:20.000

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 12:26.325

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 09:21.670

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 09:32.925

3 – Ben Warrick & David Evans (Evans): 10:00.455

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 08:26.240

2 – James Davies (Brooks Cycles): 08:34.750

3 – Simon Hawken (Army Cycling Union/Primal Europe): 08:52.360

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 09:28.930

2 –Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 09:49.330

3 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 11:47.910

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Martyn Bramhall & Mick Fairest (Sheffield Pheonix): 11:18.220

2 – Richard Hoyte & Simon Alun (Dirty Habit): 11:27.205

3 – Steven Williams & Paul Smith (East Midlands Airport): 11:36.895

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 11:41.365

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 13:17.915

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 13:21.065

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 08:56.470

2 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 09:22.300

3 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 09:41.110

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 27:24:06

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 27:24:27

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 27:28:04

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 27:19:28

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 27:19:59

3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 27:21:21

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 27:17:01

2 – James Davies (Brooke Cycles): 27:17:59

3 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 27:18:01

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 27:20:27

2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 27:20:36

3 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 27:22:50

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 27:23:53

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 27:30:52

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 27:23:32

2 – John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 27:26:08

3 – Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe): 27:29:06

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 27:18:17

2 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 27:19:11

3 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 27:19:22

For full SOLO results (3rd special stage): SOLO RESULTS (special) TW 2011

For full TEAM results (3rd special stage): TEAM RESULTS (special) TW 2011

For full SOLO results (over all): SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

For full TEAM results (over all): TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

The GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport heads west in search of epic moorland riding on a tough but rewarding stage

Linking stage three

Clun to Llanidloes

Total distance: 70km

Climbing: 2050m

Day three of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport (www.vitosport.co.uk) may have dawned with a drizzle of H2O from above at the day’s start in Clun, but it finished with blue skies and sunshine at the day’s end in Llanidloes, some 70km and 2050m of climbing later. With no special stage there was no change in the overall standings, however that didn’t mean it was an easy day.

Indeed, with the damp weather conditions and significant chunks of climbing for riders to conquer, it proved to be the toughest day’s riding of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport (www.vitosport.co.uk) so far.

Gary Cousins (2nd in the vets solo category) coming into the finish at the end of the 3rd linking stage.

Beneath overcast skies the massed riders pedalled their way out of beautiful Clun at 9am to climb up and onto the historic Offa’s Dyke trail. The exposed situation atop of Llanfair Hill at 432m – scenic is it most certainly was – was merely the hors d’oeuvre for the main course of moor top trails that would make up much of the day’s riding. Of course, getting to the tops required significant grunt – and the behemoth of Beacon Hill at 547m was the gruntiest of all the day’s climbs.

Long, steep, and unforgiving, it seemed to refuse to end and wrung both the riders’ will and strength in equal measure. The reward for overcoming, however, was an unequalled vantage point to survey the majestic beauty of the landscape. Of course, picture post card perfection is a rare occurrence and today was sadly no different, as the panorama was occasionally smudged by wind blown rain. So far, however, the TransWales has been generally dry and enjoyed good weather, and today’ wet start has been the exception rather than the rule.

72 year old Peter Norman has raced the three day event that finished today.

With no change in the overall standings, the previous category leaders retain their leader’s jerseys for another day.

And what a day tomorrow promises to be: the riders will delve deep into the heart of Hafren Forest, the source of the River Severn, before taking in the steep and hugely picturesque descent off Foel Fadian and into the Dovey Valley.

The stage then crosses the river Dovey itself and heads into the woods to bring riders to the literal climax of the day’s stage: the 3.5km downhill special stage on the final descent of the Climachx trail (see www.mbwales.com for more on this great trail). With 70km in the riders legs before they even start the singletrack roller coaster special stage, it will be a genuine test of the riders’ technical ability and fitness. Rest assured, sparks will fly as the competition steps up a gear as the contenders look to cement their grip on the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport (www.vitosport.co.uk) champion crowns.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER LINKING STAGE THREE

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 19:42:07

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 19:42:54

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 19:45:38

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 19:40:07

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 19:40:26

3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 19:40:59

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 19:38:35

2 – Ajay Chhetri (Torq): 19:38:51

3 – Jonathan Harris (Unattached): 19:38:51

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 –Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 19:40:47

2 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 19:40:58

3 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 19:41:02

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 19:41:53

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 19:44:19

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 19:41:51

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 19:42:50

3 – Guy Shingler & Sophie Shingler (Team Chutney): 19:44:59

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 19:39:20

2 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 19:39:40

3 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 19:39:42

Over all SOLO results after three days: SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

Over all TEAM results after three days: TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

The second day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport served up some sumptuous singletrack and a full on, flat out special stage that threw a cat amongst the competitive pigeons

Linking stage Two (including Special Stage Two)

Knighton to Clun

Total distance: 76km

Climbing: 2300m

Day two of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport got underway under sunny skies as the riders saddled up for the second longest day of the event. It may have been long, but it was also high quality: with varied riding, stunning vistas, and high octane racing on the second special stage, the second day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport had it all. Oh, and some sunshine, too. Lots of it.

Heading from Knighton, the trail climbed almost immediately through woodland before winching up Stow Hill at 424m, and into after almost 20km Bucknell Wood; here the riders hit the second special stage of the BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport.

2nd special stage at the GORE BIKE WEAR(r) TransWales

Initially billed as a 5km trail loop, the special stage length was put on a Slim-Fast diet and reduced to 2km over safety concerns on the bottom section of the full descent where several huge kickers could spit the unwary into the stratosphere. Instead, the special stage loosed the riders directly into some beautifully rooty and pumpy singletrack, before a berm spat them into a sequence of rollable double jumps prior to a big drop in. After the warp speed accrued off the drop railed you round a big berm, a sequence of table tops segued into some tight switchbacks that delivered the riders back into the trees for the final section of the descent. This included a left hand bend which dropped through a tangle of roots that only the fastest and most alert riders cleaned without dabbing or wiping out. A couple of rutted corners then dropped the riders onto the beginning of the fire road climb at speed. A big ring effort saw the riders tackle the worst of the hill mid-way, before the gradient eased a little for a sprint to the finish line. All in all, it was a varied and rewarding special stage that fully tested bike handling skills and fitness; to win here, riders had to be strong in both.

In the end, the racing was close and well-fought, with many categories seeing fresh faces climb onto the podium. Chief of which was Nepal’s Ajay Chhatri (Torq) in the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category. The two-time Yak Attack winner stormed the special stage in 4mins 58secs to be in a class all of his own as the only rider to go sub-five minutes. Close on his heels just 6secs adrift was Matt Williams (Unattached) in second, with Matt Page (Wiggle) just pushed back into third by the matter of mere hundreths. Page admitted presciently before the results were announced that “the special stage was alright: I wasn’t quickest but I think it was close.” In hindsight, he could’ve written the script.

3rd day of fantastic riding conditions!

In the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category there was a total overhaul of the top three, as Cyclist No. 1’s Fiona Spotswood put daylight between her and her chief rivals. She took the special stage by the scruff of its neck to complete it in 6mins dead; last year’s overall second place finisher, Hannah Thorne (Unattached), proved that she is hungry to improve on 2010’s performance by beating yesterday’s stage winner, Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression) into third place by 9secs. Sixteen seconds is all that separates first from third.

Elsewhere, the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category saw a great result for five times TransWales rider, Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk) as he claimed his first solo podium with a strong second place finish in a time of 5mins 27secs, pushing yesterday’s stage winner Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) into third six seconds down. The top spot was taken emphatically by Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC) in 5mins 10secs – a time good enough to have placed him sixth in the open male solo category.

“I loved it,” said Cousins afterwards, “I thought the special stage was absolutely brilliant: it was like the Climachx [descent] – it was just hard enough to be a little bit scary. That makes you think enough and also feel like you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone – which is what it’s supposed to be like.”

The profile for the first half of today’s linking stage looked more like the ECG of someone being electrocuted: it convulsed upwards sharply into jagged peaks before hurtling horrendously down once more. The good news for the riders was that the profile looked worse than it was to ride, but the plain fact was clear: the bulk of the day’s 2300m of climbing was dispensed with in the first two thirds of the ride. So, it was no surprise that after catching their breath, the riders trundled downwards from the special stage before the trail pointed ominously up once again along the wooded trails on Bucknell Hill. Then down. Then up again into Hopton Titterhill and down the marked downhill track with its multiple lines and rooty singletrack. Then up. Then down. Then repeat to fade. And once again for good measure.

The reward for the riders was stunning scenery that was the perfect opiate to their toils: wooded hillsides gave way to river valleys, which in turn passed the baton onto open hills. All in all, today’s stage had a great blend of scenery, cracking riding, and good weather all day that, bar a minor sprinkling of the wet stuff, showcased this area of Wales and England (much of today’s riding and Clun itself lies in Shropshire) in a great light.

The last few meters on the 2nd linking stage of the event.

The results of the day’s special stage has altered the overall standings in more than one category. In the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category, Matt Page (Wiggle) has relinquished his leader’s jersey to Ajay Chhatri (Torq), who now leads Page by 17secs, with Jonathan Harris (Unattached) just a few hundredths of a second behind Page.

With so many strong racers so close, Wednesday’s downhill special stage on the Climachx trail near Macynlleth could well see fireworks as they all try to force an advantage.

Gary Cousin’s (phasenineclothing.co.uk) impressive performance was good enough for him to move into second in the overall for the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category. Andy Jones’ emphatic ride sees him take the overall lead by 20secs, with the former category leader, Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) just 2secs behind Cousin.

In the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category, the special stage standings is repeated for the overall, with Fiona Spotswood putting clear daylight between her and yesterday’s stage winner, Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression) by 15secs, with Hannah Thorne maintaining contact with Spotswood in second, just 11secs behind.

Tomorrow sees the TransWales carnival experience that true ‘out there’ feeling across plenty of open moorland along the way to Llandiloes, some 70km and 2050m of climbing away. It also follows a fair bit of history as the stage crosses Offa’s Dyke and follows Glyndwr’s Way for a spell. If the weather plays ball it will be a stunning day’s riding across the backbone of mid-Wales, before the riders screech down the final descent to the day’s end. There will be no special stage tomorrow, so the overall standings will remain the same barring any time penalties.

SPECIAL STAGE TWO RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 0:07:01

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 0:07:14

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 0:08:38

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 0:05:43

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 05:48

3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 0:06:09

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Ajay Chhatri (Torq): 0:04:58

2 – Matt Williams (Unattached): 0:05:04

3 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 0:05:04

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 0:06:00

2 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 0:06:07

3 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 0:06:16

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 0:07:07

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 0:09:28

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 0:06:42

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 0:07:28

3 – Guy Shingler & Sophie Shingler (Team Chutney): 0:07:45

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 0:05:10

2 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 0:05:27

3 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 0:05:33

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SPECIAL STAGE TWO

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category

1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 13:12:07

2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 13:12:54

3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 13:15:11

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category

1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 13:10:07

2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 13:10:26

3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 13:10:59

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category

1 – Ajay Chhatri (Torq): 13:08:34

2 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 13:08:51

3 – Jonathan Harris (Unattached): 13:08:51

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category

1 –Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 13:10:47

2 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 13:10:58

3 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 13:11:02

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category

1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 13:11:53

2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 13:14:19

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category

1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 13:11:51

2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 13:12:50

3 – Guy Shingler & Sophie Shingler (Team Chutney): 13:14:49

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category

1 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 13:09:20

2 – Gary Cousins (phasenineclothing.co.uk): 3:09:40

3 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 13:09:42

Solo 2nd Special Stage results: SOLO RESULTS (2nd special) TW 2011

Team 2nd Special Stage results: TEAM RESULTS (2nd special) TW 2011

Solo OVER ALL results: SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011

Team: OVER ALL results: TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011


Sunday 14th August

The GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport kicks off with a brutal hill climb special stage to kick off proceedings in fiery style

Linking stage One (including Special Stage One)

Builth Wells to Knighton
Total distance: 75km
Climbing: 2100m

At 9am on a dry mid-Wales morning, the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport got underway as hundreds of riders saddled up, clipped in, and pedalled away from the start line to begin their epic journey – all 536km (333 miles) and 15,260m (1,758,530ft) of climbing of it.

The start!

With riders coming from from as far afield as the USA, Spain, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Holland, and also Nepal in the form of Ajay Chhatri, the multiple winner of the Yak Attack in the Himalayas this year’s GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport is a truly international edition.

Under fair and improving skies, the day’s linking stage would include the first special stage to really get the competitive juices flowing and set the TransWales in full swing.

Initially the massed throng of riders were lulled into a false sense of security before the sedate warm up abruptly gave way to the most brutal of special stages, a hill climb that took saw them ascend 150m in of vertical in just 1km.

1st special stage

The setting for the leg and lung burning effort was the former National Points Series venue, Fforest Fields just east of Builth Wells. The course for the special stage was a mix of loose and – in parts – steep dirt track with gravel and sizeable slabs of loose rock thrown in for good measure. The gradient eased off before a left hand turn spat the riders out onto a moorland section that ramped up to the finish line. Wiggle-sponsored and reigning UK and European 24hr solo champion, Matt Page, was one of the first riders to tackle the course. Having earlier spoken of his concern of whether he’d have the speed or power in his legs for the short, sharp special stages, Page lay his fears to rest and absolutely buried himself to announce his intent for the overall title in emphatic style.

In the end – and despite his professed doubts – Page’s efforts were more than good enough to secure himself the top spot in the Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo Category with a time of 3mins 30secs, almost 12secs ahead of seond placed Jonathan Harris.  In the Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo Category the racing was even closer with less than a second separating first and second: Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression) just pipped Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1) to the top spot in a time of 04:46.04 with Spotswood finishing in 04:46.77. With Hannah Thorne just 4secs behind in third, the women’s race looks like it could be a belter.

In the Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male catgory, the top three are separated just four seconds, with Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) claiming the first scalp in 04:08.18, Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC) in second just over a second back, and Andy Roberts taking the third spot in 04:11.56.

Great trails, super weather...TransWales 2011

After riders caught their breath and wrung the lactic acid out of their systems, they clipped in once again to complete the remainder of the linking stage within the allotted six and half hours. The day’s riding would take the riders up and over several major climbs – including Gwanceste Hill at 542m, the mighty Great Rhos at 660m, Llan-fawr at 387m, Rhos Hill at 391m, and a final 417m summit in the final furlongs before journeys end at Knighton on the River Teme. The riding was a mix of open moorland blessed with 360 degree vistas, sporadic sunshine, sinuous singletrack, a bit of sheep slaloming, and flat out descents. The forested trails of Radnor Forest added some fast double track and some very sweet singletrack into the mix and primed the riders’ palettes for more of the same over the coming days.

Tomorrow sees the riders head out to Clun, some 76km and 2300m climbing away. The linking stage will see the second special stage – a 5km trail time trial at Bucknell Woods. The route is an equal mix of climbing and descending, with the majority of the height gain accrued in the first 2kms, before a roller coaster descent to finish with rotors pinging into the finish. With a longer and all-round test of riding, the standings could well be in for a shake up. Until then, adieu from , the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport.

SPECIAL STAGE ONE RESULTS

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category
1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 05:06.21
2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 05:40.47
3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 06:33.23

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category
1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 04:23.95
2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 04:38.19
3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 04:50.45

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category
1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 03:30.30
2 – Jonathan Harris (Unattached): 03:41.99
3 – Simon Burgess (Severn Road Club): 03:49.21

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category
1 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 04:46.04
2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 04:46.77
3 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 04:50.74

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category
1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 04:46.04
2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 04:46.04

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category
1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 05:08.98
2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 05:22.31
3 – Guy Shingler & Sophie Shingler (Team Chutney): 06:35.53

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category
1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 04:08.18
2 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 04:09.83
3 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 04:11.56

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SPECIAL STAGE ONE

Buff Headwear Female Pairs category
1 – Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28): 06:35:06
2 – Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle): 06:35:40
3 – Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall (Unattached): 06:36:33

Merida Bikes Male Pairs category
1 – Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC): 06:34:24
2 – Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger): 06:34:38
3 – David Askin & David O’Brien (Rally da Digger): 06:34:50

Schwalbe Tyres Male Solo category
1 – Matt Page (Wiggle): 06:33:30
2 – Jonathan Harris (Unattached): 06:33:42
3 – Simon Burgess (Severn Road Club): 06:33:49

Schwalbe Tyres Female Solo category
1 – Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression): 06:34.46
2 – Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No. 1): 06:34.47
3 – Hannah Thorne (Unattached): 06:34.51

Alpina Helmets Veteran Pairs Male category
1 – Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL): 06:34:46
2 – Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White Spirit): 06:34:51

Birzman Tools Mixed Pairs category
1 – Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association): 06:35:09
2 – John Drummon & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates): 06:35:22
3 – Guy Shingler & Sophie Shingler (Team Chutney): 06:37:04

Saris Racks Veteran Solo Male category
1 – Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC): 06:34:08
2 – Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC): 06:34:10
3 – Andy Roberts (Unattached): 06:34:12

Complete results SOLO – SOLO RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011
Complete results TEAM – TEAM RESULTS (ongoing) TW 2011
Riding times PROLOGUE – prologue riding times
Special Stage times PROLOGUE – prologue – special stage

Early in the morning at the TransWales 2011

The GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales 2011 powered Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport is just about to wake up to get ready for the 1st proper day of riding.

Yesterday’s prologue was a fun day out with more than 150 riders (good mix of prologue only riders and ‘keen’ TransWales riders) tackling the course around Builth Wells followed by the special stage back at the event venue.

Today we are heading to Knighton, Shropshire for the 1st ‘proper’ day of the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales 2011 powered Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport. We will get into the 1st special stage (hill climb) early in the stage which means that we will have our 1st set of category leaders later on today.

Looking around the field at yesterday’s welcome briefing we should see some close battles today.

More from the event including results and some images later on today as well as on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

The MTB-Marathon on the 13th August in Builth Wells will have on the line entries available and there is no surcharge for getting your entry in at the event.

Just make sure that you either bring cash or a cheque book (no card facilities) and be on site in plenty of time to sign on/register by 10.30am at the latest.

The start to the MTB-Marathon is at 11am on Saturday morning at Penmaenau Farm in Builth Wells (directions here). Registration is open on Friday evening from 6-9pm and again from 8am on Saturday morning.

Don’t forget that camping is included in the entry fee. So just come up on Friday night and enjoy the atmosphere as well as stay Saturday night and see the GORE BIKE WEAR® TransWales leave on Sunday morning.

You can find further details on the MTB-Marathon in Builth Wells (13th August) here.

To pre-enter the event and get included in the our prize draw (worth more than £ 600 – details here) please click on the button below.