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  GORE BIKE WEAR™ TransWales 2011 powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport – Stages

The GORE BIKE WEAR™ TransWales powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport combines linking stages (untimed long distance rides) with special stages – off-road time trials. By doing this we aim to cater for those who want to see what Wales can offer as a cycling destination whilst indulging the more competitive rider with the special stages. Here’s a quick reminder of the difference between the two:

Linking stage:
The linking stages are the main part of the daily ride and link the starting venue with the finish location. Most linking stages are between 50-80km long and are not timed in the conventional way. Instead, riders are given a timeframe to complete the distance in e.g. 70km in 6 hours. Riders that come in after get a time penalty. Not competitive, but one still has to put the effort in.

Due to not being races we really can pick the best trails in the area we are going through, showing the riders the best single-tracks, views and descents out there.

Special stages:
Here is where it counts. The special stages are held on separate courses, mainly purpose built-trails. Here everyone can experience undulating serpentine like single-track, jumps and burns – even at night. The idea with teams and soloists is to find out who is the fastest amongst them. They compete against each other but as it’s a time trial, they go off in intervals and are timed on their efforts.

New for 2011:

Big news for 2011 – introducing the GORE BIKE WEAR™ Prologue Marathon powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport. Taking place on 13th August at 11am, riders can enjoy an approx 40km marathon ride with an optional special stage at the end where riders will get the chance to test their ‘racing skills’. It is open to all TransWales riders (but not compulsory) who want to limber up and get their legs in shape for the big challenge ahead. It is also open to non-TransWales riders who would like a taster of a typical unique day’s riding in the TransWales.

This event is not part of the GORE BIKE WEAR™ TransWales and the following applies:
• Numbers are limited, so get your entry in quick
• Its non-competitive
• The special stage will be manually timed
• Full use of free camping, event village facilities & feed stations
• Entrants must register before 10.30am on 13th August ready for 11.00am start

For 2011 John’s brief has been to find a new and refreshed course so that even the hardened TransWales riders will find something novel to get their teeth into whilst keeping in many of the classic sections and great bits of trail the riders enjoyed so much in the past. In typical John Lloyd fashion he is not going to disappoint. For 2011 the GORE BIKE WEAR™ TransWales course will span from the English border all the way to the Welsh coast and will touch areas never before visited by our event.

Stage breakdown:
So we will once again span the whole width of the country while stopping at some of the best trail centres the country has to offer to fight out the fastest all rounder out there. To make things even more interesting we also added another special stage to the offerings – bringing the over all count up to 6. This will give riders more chances to win prizes from our huge GORE BIKE WEAR® prize fund but also to ‘put right’ what they might have ‘messed up’ on in one of the earlier stages.

Day 1 Builth – Knighton. Sunday 14th August

Route Distance: 81km
Total Ascent: 2300m
Total Descent: 2240m
Predicted Riding Time: 7 hours

1st Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 9km
Technical Climb: 1km
Ascent: 140m

The first day’s riding starts at Penmaenau immediately climbing into Cefndyrys Wood, and then continues to follow bridleways until it descends onto the A481 going east out towards Hundred House, then turning into Fforest Fields to the start of the First Special Stage, (1 Km technical climb), immediately after the climb the route develops into some great single track before dropping back into Hundred House. Just after turning right you climb up onto Gwaunceste Hill, then descend and cross the A44, to Water Breaks It’s Neck. After another long climb into The Radnor Forest you will be rewarded with a fabulous 5km technical bridleway descent. From here the route meanders along bridleways through Radnorshire and onto Knighton, on the English Border. Here there are Shops, Pubs, Cafes, banks and a Leisure Centre.

Day 2 Knighton – Clun. Monday 15th August
Route Distance: 84km
Total Ascent: 2500m
Total Descent: 2500m
Predicted Riding Time: 7 hours

2nd Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 18km
Loop: Bucknell Wood - 5km
Ascent/Descent: 250m

The route on Day 2 heads north into Shropshire, England. This day’s route has more climbing per kilometre of riding than any other day, even though it isn’t one of the longest days riding, it might well be the toughest. On leaving Knighton the route immediately climbs into Kinsley Wood, then after a few kilometres along bridleways the route enters Bucknell Wood. This is where the Second Special Stage begins. A circular 5km route which includes a well known technical downhill course. After this, the route continues through the village of Bucknell and into the next area of woodland. Today’s route explores five more areas of woodland, on bridleways, forest roads and single track, hopping from wood to wood on quiet country lanes. Eventually you arrive at the town of Clun, a small traditional border town, with shops, pubs, cafe and garage.

Day 3 Clun – Llanidloes. Tuesday 16th August
Route Distance: 73km
Total Ascent: 2000m
Total Descent: 2100m
Predicted Riding Time: 6 hours

Day 3 starts the journey west back into Wales, crossing some fantastic heather moorland on Beacon Hill, Warren Hill and Moelfre Hill, descending to Llanbadarn Fynydd, crossing the A483 and into The Red Lion Forest, near Bwlch y Sarnau, using forest road climbs and great technical descents. From here continuing on through Radnorshire, the most rural county of Wales. The day ends in Llanidloes, a small town offering shops, pubs, cafes, garage, hotels, banks and a launderette.

Day 4 Llanidloes – Machynlleth. Wednesday 17th August
Route Distance: 84km
Total Ascent: 2260m
Total Descent: 2440m
Predicted Riding Time: 7 hours

3rd Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 69km
Descent: Climax Trail - 6km
Descending: 290m

Day 4 continues North West through the Hafren Forest, across Plynlimon, the source of the rivers Severn and Wye. Then passing Glaslyn Lake the route descends 340m initially down a steep rocky section which continues down for one of the most memorable descents of the week. Then crossing the Dyfi Valley, into the Dyfi Forest and to the Third Special stage (6km descent), the day finishes in Machynlleth, the most northerly destination of the TransWales. Machynlleth has shops including a bike shop, pubs, hotels, takeaways, banks, garage and a leisure centre with swimming pool.

Day 5 Machynlleth – Cymystwyth. Thursday 18th August
Route Distance: 75km
Total Ascent: 2350m
Total Descent: 2150m
Predicted Riding Time: 6 hours

4th Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 18km
Loop: Nant yr Arian - 8.5km
Ascent/Descent: 426m

The route on Day 5 heads southwest past Nant y Moch reservoir, using an old drovers road, which is very rocky and technical, fording rivers along the way. Then into the forest around Nant yr Arian and the Fourth Special Stage. (8.5km loop). This is the furthest point west of the week, within sight of the Irish Sea. From here the route continues south through the Arch Forest with lots of climbing and descending, passing through a wind farm with the eerie sound of the turbines. Then, after fording another river the route descends to the beautiful Tyllwd campsite, the most rural of all the weeks’ locations.

Day 6 Cymystwyth – Cilycwm. Friday 19th August
Route Distance: 75km
Total Ascent: 2200m
Total Descent: 2300m
Predicted Riding Time: 6 hours

5th Special Stage - EXPOSURE
DIABLO Night Stage:
Loop: Cwm Rhaiadr - 6km
Ascent/Descent: 260m

Day 6 has arguably the best days riding of the week, and sees the route heading south, initially climbing through the forest of Bwichgwallter, then across some moorland and past Teifi Pools, followed by a great single track descent and onto Strata Florida Abbey. From here you climb into the Towy Forest then descending on an old drover’s road, crossing the River Towy 14 times, and continuing on to the Doethie Valley with many miles of technical single track eventually arriving in Glangwenlais campsite, Cilycwm, a small village with one pub. In the evening we will be hosting the EXPOSURE DIABLO Night Special Stage, a 6km loop in Cwmrhaiadr Forest, initially a 3km climb, then descending on 3km of exciting purpose built single track.

Day 7 Cilycwm – Builth Wells. Saturday 20th August
Route Distance: 62km
Total Ascent: 1650m
Total Descent: 1530m
Predicted Riding Time: 5 hours

6th Special Stage
at the very end:
Descent: Cefndyrys Woods - 2km
Ascent/Descent: 70m

On the last day of the week, the route turns north east back to Builth Wells, Starting with some quiet country lanes, the route enters Esgair Dafydd and Cwm Henog forests, a mix of forest road climbs and technical descents west of Llanwrtyd Wells, well known for its great mountain biking trails. After crossing the Abergwesyn road, the riders tackle the last big climb of the week into the Irfon Forest. The route descends from here on bridleways to Beulah, then onwards to Builth Wells and the chequered flag. The sixth and final Special Stage is a fast 2km loop through Cefnderys Woods, starting and finishing at the venue on Penmaenau Farm.

Total Distance: 534km
Total Ascent/Descent: 15,255m


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