Why Trail Masters is the most exciting event this summer

This summer a brand new mountain bike event comes to Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, in the shape of the Trail Masters on August 17-19 . It’s a three-day cross-country romp through some of the finest countryside this small island boasts with some proper mountain biking on the menu.

Totalling over 220km of riding and with a lung-burning 7,000m of climbing, but it’s not just a straight A to B slog. Instead, there are  six timed sections throughout the three stages, which means it will appeal to people who want an enjoyable yet challenging long weekend ride as well as the more competitive types who want to test themselves against the clock and go for glory.

Earlier this year we headed to Wales to meet up with the organisers of the brand new Ritchey Trail Masters event, to find out what it’s all about. We filmed this short video interview with the organiser Michael Wilkens and course designer John Lloyd.

We also got the chance to ride some of the trails that will be used for the event, including two of the special stages. The area is absolutely stunning with a true wilderness feeling to the trails; you’re far removed from civilisation out here. That’s reflected in the trails too, which are all as natural as you’re going to get.

If you like your trails smooth and manicured, this isn’t the place to come. If you’re after some proper real mountain biking though, then free up your diary and get yourself entered, it just could be the best event of the year.

John Lloyd knows the trails around this part of Wales better than anyone else, and has put in the time and effort to scour the landscape for some brilliant trails for this event. The route looks to be one that will ensure that fitness and riding skills are thoroughly tested, while leaving people with a real sense of accomplishment. There’ll be smiles at the finish line for sure.

The idea of combining timed sections with untimed linking stages isn’t a new one. John and Michael have been doing similar for years with their previous event, the TransWales stage race. The Trail Masters is the TW reborn, with a more compact format that takes place over three days. A long weekend, essentially, with an emphasis on great riding.

Michael was also keen to stress that, while the riding is the clear priority for the event, the fun won’t end when you cross the finish line. They’re planning to have loads of activies going on in the event arena; test courses, test bikes, a bar, live bands, technical seminars, film and photo shows, chill out zones, pub quiz, which should all keep you entertained long into the evening.

For those reasons, we really think this is going to be the most exciting event of the summer. And we’ll be there. Will you?

How to enter

The event can be entered solo or teams of three. There will be an open and veterans category, and there’ll be £10,000 of prizes up for grabs.

Entering costs from £175 for the ‘bronze package’, £225 for the ‘silver package’ (which adds all your food, breakfast, lunch and dinner on top of the basic entry), and finally the ‘gold package’ at £250. That gets you a three man tent already erected onsite for you.

Enter now at http://www.trailmasters.cc

The stages in detail

Day 1: Friday 17th August 2012
Start: 12pm (noon)
Route Distance: 55km
Total amount of climbing: 1900m
Predicted Riding Time: 4 hours
Lunch stop: Trallwn visitor centre. (toilet / cafe) @ 16Km. Grid Ref: 883 544
Water stop: Llynbrianne viewpoint. @ 36Km. Grid Ref: 815 499

1st Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 24km
Style: Technical challenge / loop
Distance: 3km
Amount of climbing: 60m
Start order: first come first serve

Day 1: Friday 17th August 2012 – night ride
Start: 8.30pm
Route Distance: 20km
Total amount of climbing: 620m

2nd Special Stage – night stage:
Venue: approx. 9km from the event venue
Style: Technical challenge / loop
Distance: 3km
Amount of climbing: 60m
Start order: based on 1st special stage of the day – fastest rider goes first

Day 2: Saturday 18th August 2012
Start: 9.30am
Route Distance: 85km
Total amount of climbing: 2600m
Predicted Riding Time: 7 hours
1st Water stop: Claerwen Resevoir @ 26Km. Grid Ref: 871 637
Lunch stop: 60Km. Grid Ref: 805 569
2nd Water stop: 70Km. Grid Ref: 856 507

3rd Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 48km
Style: climb
Distance: 3km
Ascent: 230m
Start order: first come first served

4th Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 51km
Style: technical descent
Distance: 8.5km
Descent: 240m
Start order: first come first served

Day 3: Sunday 19th August 2012
Start: 9.30am
Route Distance: 60km
Total amount of climbing: 2000m
Predicted Riding Time: 5 hours
1st Water stop: 18Km. Grid Ref: 856 390.
Lunch stop: 31Km (end of special stage). Grid Ref: 836 396
2nd Water stop: 48Km. Grid Ref: 837 429

5th Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 6km
Style: loop
Distance: 2.3km
Ascent: 90m
Descent: 90m
Start order: first come first served

6th Special Stage (within):
Distance from start: 30km
Style: technical challenge
Distance: 2km
Ascent: 20m
Descent: 90m
Start order: first come first served

 

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