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Gore Bike Wear TransWales 2010: Stage 4 report

For the riders fighting it out in the general classification this was a pivotal special stage as there was quite simply no where to hide

Linking Stage Four (including Special Stage Three)

Machynlleth to Cwymystwyth

Total distance: 71km. Climbing: 2495m

Today saw the third special stage: an abridged 8.5km Nant y Arian trail centre loop.

For the riders fighting it out in the general classification this was a pivotal special stage as there was quite simply no where to hide: either barrelling downhill or hauling up again. There was no flat. And so any mistake here would play into the hands of competitors and any time loss could easily become significant.

Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting) is riding in the Schwalbe Solo Open Male category andhas been having plenty of fun out on the trail; unfortunately he has been the unwilling recipient of special stage bad luck following his success on the climbing special stage on day one.

Today saw him front puncture as he was pinning it however his luck must be improving as even with the flat his time of 23mins 15secs was enough to take the stage win by 21secs from Greig Walker; himself just 13secs up on third placed Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion). This means that Hawson (Ayup Lighting) retakes the lead in the general classification ahead of Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti) by 24secs.

In the Schwalbe Solo Open Female category Rickie Cotter was out for blood after missing out on the podium on the downhill special stage due to double punctures. “I smashed it,” she said of her run afterwards: “I’m really happy.” Her efforts certainly paid off as she beat her closest rival by just under two and a half minutes in a time of 26mins 9secs. Hannah Thorne pushed hard and came in second in a time of 28mins 37secs. The previous leader in the category – Fi Spotswood (For Goodness Shakes) – has returned home to Bristol which has opened the door and laid down the welcome mat for Hannah Thorne to take the overall Schwalbe Solo Open Female category leader – just 12secs ahead of Rickie Cotter.

In the Merida Bikes Open Male Team category Neil Richardson and Dan Lewis (RAFCC) put in the fastest performance of the entire stage in an average combined time of 22mins 57secs – a time that would’ve seen either of them take the win in the solo category. It was also a clear 2mins faster than the pairing of Darren Koslicki and Adam Wroz (Team Unknown) who were convincingly beaten into second on the stage and the general classification by some 2mins 10secs.

Elsewhere, the Birzman Tools Mixed Teams Catgeory saw a change in the overall due to the solid consistency of previously second-placed pairClaire Neuhoff and Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons): with a third on the first special stage followed by two second places – including on today’s special stage – they succeeded in making up enough time on the previous leaders (Elizabeth Docherty and James Docherty (Ohh!)) to take the lead by just 5secs. This all means that each of the top three teams (Team Ohh!, The Clantons, and Double Dutch) have each held the lead in the overall, and are now separated by less than 20secs.

All this means that the pressure remains on for the fourth special stage tomorrow, the Exposure Diablo Night Stage at Cwm Rhaidr. Rickie Cotter will be looking to stamp her authority on the women’s solo competition, whilst Hawson will be looking for a trouble-free but flawless run to extend his fragile lead. However, Cwm Rhaidr has a reputation for slicing sidewalls so he needs to be careful as another puncture could see him slip down the rankings. In every category nothing is settled so there’s all to play for on the fifth day of the Gore Bike Wear TransWales, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport. Blend into this backdrop one of the most loved trails in the TransWales’ history: the Doethie Valley singletrack descent as the highlight of the linking stage and the fifth day of the TransWales promises to be the best so far.

SPECIAL STAGE THREE RESULTS

Schwalbe Solo Category – open female

1– Rickie COTTER (WXC Racing) 00:26:09

2 – Hannah THORNE 00:28:37

3 – Amanda BROOKS 00:31:16

Schwalbe Solo Category – open male

1 – Ryan HAWSON (Ayup Lighting) 00:23:15

2 – Greig WALKER 00:23:46

3 – Paul WHITTAKER (Stockport Clarion) 00:23:59

Squirt Solo Category – vets male

1 – Alan PARKINSON South Western (London) Road Club 00:25:08

2 – Daryl CAVILL (Tenby Aces Cycling Club) 00:25:51

3 – Tony HIGGINS (Accordia Consulting Ltd) 00:27:08

Merida Bikes Category – open male teams

 Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC) 0:22:57

 Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown) 0:24:58

 Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk) 0:25:59

Buff Headwear Category – open female teams

– Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC) 0:32:38

 Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (With Hind Sight) 0:32:48

Alpina Helmets Category – vets male teams

 Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard 0:35:13

– Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids) 0:37:52

Birzman Tools Category – mixed teams

 Luc Selen Wendy De Graaf Double Dutch 0:28:19

– Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons) 00:28:36

 Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!) 00:30:36

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SPECIAL STAGE THREE

Schwalbe Solo Category – open female

1– Hannah THORNE 18:43:25

2 – Rickie COTTER (WXC Racing) 26:12:14

3 – Amanda BROOKS 26:15:33

Schwalbe Solo Category – open male

1 – Ryan HAWSON (Ayup Lighting) 26:04:07

2 – Sean GROSVENOR (Summit Cycles / Conti) 26:04:31

3 – Greig WALKER 26:05:08

Squirt Solo Category – vets male

1 – Alan PARKINSON (South Western (London) Road Club) 26:07:52

2 – Daryl CAVILL (Tenby Aces Cycling Club) 26:08:00

3 – Tony HIGGINS (Accordia Consulting Ltd) 26:09:33

Merida Bikes Category – open male teams

– Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC) 26:03:41

2 –Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz 26:05:51

– Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk) 26:07:08

Buff Headwear Category – open female teams

– Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC) 26:17:10

 Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (With Hind Sight) 26:18:38

Alpina Helmets Category – vets male teams

 Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard 26:22:40

 Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids) 26:22:43

Birzman Tools Category – mixed teams

– Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons) 26:12:51

 Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch) 26:12:56

 Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!) 26:13:09

www.mtbtransuk.co.uk

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