Fi Spotswood reports from the Trans Wales

 

Day 1 dawns. The atmosphere in the camp is great. People are lingering at breakfast and you can hear the excitement bubbling beneath their chatter. I have been eating my cooked breakfast with Mike Wilkens, organiser of the TW. Mike seems calm. “We have done this four times now. We know what works and what doesn’t. Every year we learn. I feel confident that the event is just getting better and better.”

 

 

And so it seems. There are so many familiar faces here. People I recognise from 2006, 2008, 2009… people who have come back for more. The Trans Wales is an ever changing beast. The trails are different each year and you know the challenge will be monumental. 7 days of riding over mountains, moorland, rocky singletrack, manmade trails. A lot of the riding is on private land.

 

 

Transwales day 1 start

Photo thanks to Jon Brooke

 

The 5 special stages (the timed, racing part) are different this year too. Today we have a 1km uphill time trial, tomorrow a 6km descent. All are different, and the aim is that different people will be on the podium each night. A complete mix, with the final rankings only sorted out right at the end back in Builth. Exciting!

 

 

There are no obvious contenders here. Well, Ricky Cotter seems like a favourite in the solo female category. Her form has improved steadily over the last few years and she is a real force to be reckoned with now. Dan Lewis and ‘Rents’ from the RAF are probably the favourites in the male pairs. Dan has a fell running and cyclocross background and Rents came 6th at SSUK yesterday. They are lean, mean and fast.

 

 

Breakfast is nearly over, so I need to go and pack up my tent and load it onto one of the event lorries. There are some bleary eyed racers around, those who went down to the local game fair bar last night and took part in the ‘horn blowing’ competition. It’s not all serious racing here, there are plenty of holiday makers as well!

 

BikeEnvy's reporter at the TransWales 2010 is Fi Spotswood, you can read her article about prepartion for stage races like this here.

 

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