TransWales - day 2

 

Day 2: Monday 16th August 2010, Knighton – Llanidloes

Distance: approx. 68km

Ascent: approx. 2140m

Descent: approx. 2150m

 

 

After a clear night sky scattered with stars like dust, the massed throng of Gore Bike Wear TransWales riders prepared for their second day in the saddle. And what a day!  Wall to wall sunshine and blue skies, dry trails, crystal views over the patchwork landscape of mid-Wales and some epic riding. It might not have seen a change in the overall standings, due to there being no special stage, but today nonetheless delivered great riding and stunning scenery in spades.

 

 

TransWales day 2_1

Photo thanks to Jon Brooke

 

 

The lack of H2O dropping from above was merely the icing on the cake - today was about completing the linking stage within the 6hr cut off time period. Parcelled with this, was the need for riders to pace themselves - to keep legs as fresh as possible, in preparation for the competition that recommences tomorrow with the 7km downhill special stage, at the awesome Climachx trail, near Machynlleth. But before that there was the small matter of 61km and 2140m of climbing to focus on.

 

 

Leaving Knighton behind, the riders freed their legs up on a gradual Tarmac climb that warmed up weary limbs, before the gradient kicked hard to summit Bailey Hill. Continuing onwards, the stage struck out into the hills proper, as it took the riders to the trails upon Glyndwr’s Way and into true big country, with sweeping panoramic views, coupled with blooming purple heather flanking the trail like a carpet of sentries, the moorland top stretches were simply stunning. 

 

 

After the scenery of the moor tops, came a high speed and open descent down Moelfre Hill and into Moelfre itself. From here, a smattering of short, sharp climbs and descents took the riders away from the moors and into the trees once again. The toll? More climbing. But the pay off for the ascent was a tight, yet fast, rutted singletrack descent that began rocky and then became sinuous.  It was flanked with sumptuous views over towards Llandiloes itself, before steepening and becoming more enclosed, with a choice of only two ruts to put the wheels in. The outcome? A chaotic blend of Russian Roulette and pinball! Some, like the Schwalbe Women’s Solo leader Rickie Cotter (WXC Racing) took it by the scruff of the neck and came screeching to the bottom buzzing and smiling with rotors pinging. Others, however, took a flyer over the bars and were gifted a tacoed wheel for their troubles. Yet all made it down in one piece and pedalled what remained of the day’s stage to the finish, a warm shower, a sports massage, and – for most – a cold beer at Llandiloes Rugby Club’s bar.

 

 

TransWales day 2_2

Photo thanks to Jon Brooke

 

Wednesday sees the Gore Bike Wear TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport, really get into its stride, with the second special stage - a 7km downhill time trial at the Climachx trail near Machynlleth. Together with the special stage, tomorrow is the first truly big day of this year’s TransWales, as it sees the riders pedal 82km and 2430m of climbing across genuinely challenging terrain, through Hafren Forest and the wilderness beyond, towards Macynlleth. But – in a reversal of stage one’s climbing trend – the stage also sees 2590m of descending. It’s about to get interesting.

 

 

 


 

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SPECIAL LINKING STAGE TWO

 

 

Schwalbe Solo Category - open female

1 – Rickie Justine COTTER (WXC Racing) 05:31:51

2 – Hannah THORNE 05:32:09

3 – Fiona SPOTSWOOD (For Goodness Shakes) 05:32:27

 

 

Buff Headwear Category - open female teams

1 Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC) 05:32:30

2 Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (With Hind Sight) 05:33:01

 

 

Birzman Tools Category - mixed teams

1 Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch) 05:31:57

2 Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!) 05:32:17

3 Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons) 05:32:21 

 

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