The inaugural TransWales stage event was a definite highlight of 2006. And to follow it up, the organisers are running the Chain Reaction Cycles TransScotland (powered by Merida) this year, with a fantastic-looking course covering the best of Southern Scotland’s natural and purpose-built trails over seven long days.
We asked you to choose from our shortlist of five contenders for the (admittedly dubious) honour of representing Bikemagic at TransScotland. Over 3,000 votes were cast with the vast majority of them being split between two contestants.
The original plan was to have a public vote for our team entry too, but clearly soloing TransScotland is what has captured the imagination – we had lots of solo entrants but just the one for a team. So they win by default, although that’s not to say that they won’t do us proud. Remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Solo: Andy Cathcart
Despite (or perhaps because of?) his scary beard, Andy Cathcart will be racing across Scotland for Bikemagic. After plenty of single-day enduros and team 24 hour events, Andy should have the experience to do well even, if by his own admission he hasn’t “quite cracked the solo 24hr thing yet.” That said, if you’re out on a TransScotland stage for more than about nine hours you’ve probably got problems anyway – being able to ride for 24 straight isn’t really a requirement.
Team: Joy Bringer
and Richard Morgan
And here’s our mixed team. Richard Morgan has a long history with the Merida Marathon events that spawned TransScotland – his parents run the White House campsite in Builth Wells, so it was hard for him to avoid them. He did the Builth event in 2003, did a couple more in 2004 and then, properly hooked, did nearly all of them in 2005 and the whole lot in 2006.
Joy Bringer is a sports psychologist at the Sports Council for Wales, so the team out to be able to keep a clear pair of heads when things start getting tough (which they undoubtedly will). She’s also done a selection of Merida Marathons along with a couple of long-distance multi-day camping trips, a combination that should give her a good idea of what’s in store.
Joy and Richard tend to ride together on enduros and have also competed as a mixed team at Bristol Bike Fest. They’ve also both recently been out to Fuerteventura for an 80km MTB marathon, in which Joy came 4th.
So there you go. Congratulations to our winners and many thanks to everyone who entered. We’ll be in touch soon…