TransWales 2011: Day three goes epic

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 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 so far.

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.

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 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 Chhatri (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

www.mtbtransuk.co.uk

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