TransWales organiser Michael Wilkens gives us the low-down on the recent stage race.
The last couple of weeks have been rather hectic at this end so apologies for the radio silence since we have come back from the TransWales. First of all a big well done to everybody who took part in the fifth TransUK event: Gore Bike Wear TransWales powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport 2010. What a week. I am sure it will take us all a while to recover from this fantastic adventure.
We have been back for a couple for weeks now but needed the time to find the desk and the computer underneath all the paper that has been gathering here for the last few weeks. It was once again a challenging but at the same time hugely rewarding week for everyone and we are sure that the Gore Bike Wear TransWales ’10 will stay in people’s minds for months to come. Once again – well done to everybody who took up this unique challenge.
The seven linking stages mixed in with 5 special stages all had their own character and kept everybody on their toes. When the 180 riders from 16 different countries lined up for the official start of the event in Builth Wells anticipations were high and they were not to be disappointed. The conditions out on course were a little damp on the ground but stable and, bar a day of typical Welsh weather, the riding conditions throughout the week were excellent. However the 500km of course with 15,000m of climbing remains one of the toughest MTB challenges out there.
As in the years before the linking stages were mixed up with 5 special stages where the riders could gain or lose important seconds which would make all the difference at the end of the day. This year the special stages kicked off with a climbing stage on the 1st day of riding followed by the downhill dominated stage at the Cli-machx before heading south to Nant-y-Arian. After that the Exposure Lights Night Special Stage at Cwm-y-Rhaiadr had the riders head out into the darkness to fight out the leaders in the various categories. The final special stage took place back at the start/finish location in Builth Wells which kept the over all outcome in some of the categories open till the very last meter. Contrary to the last few years where the night stage was the clear favourite amongst the riders this year it was a head to head between the DH stage at the Climax trail and the Exposure Night stage at Cwm-y-Rhaiadr.
After almost 500km with nearly 15,000 meters of climbing all the titles were given out at the finisher party in Builth Wells. The Merida Bikes (www.merida.com) Men’s category was again won by the 2009 winner Dan Lewis and Neil Richardson from the Royal Air Force CC, the BUFF (www.buffwear.co.uk) Women’s Category by the Clifton CC team of Steph Fountain and Lisa Bolton, the Birzman (www.birzman.com) Mixed category by Claire and Simon Neuhoff from Team the Clantons (South Africa), the Alpina (www.alpina-eyewear.com) Vets Category by the South African Team ‘Invalids’ of Mark Olivier and Andrew Donkin. The Schwalbe (www.schwalbe.com) sponsored Open Solo titles went to Rickie Cotter from WXC and to the Australian Ryan Hawson from Ayup Lighting. The Squirt (www.in2dust.co.uk) powered Vets Solo category was won by Alan Parkinson from the South Western (London) Road Club. Big congratulations again from the MTB Events team to the winners and even bigger congratulations for all the other finishers.
We would also like to send a big THANK YOU out to all the companies who believed in this concept and supported us all the way. A big thanks to Gore Bike Wear(www.gorebikewear.com), Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport (www.vitosport.co.uk) Merida, Birzman, High5, Alpina, Buff, Saris, Schwalbe, Squirt and Exposure Lights.
We are already working on the follow up in 2011 and should be able to open the entry in the next few weeks. If you want to make sure that you get into the 2010 event by receiving the entry form 2 weeks prior to the official release please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As soon as we have some more details we will add those to our website and the next newsletter.
The daily reports, images and results have been published on and on the Gore Bike Wear TransWales ’10 event website www.mtbtransuk.co.uk.
Images from the event
It was not just us who needed a few days to get their feet back under the table. Our event photographer Jon Brook also took a few more days than usual to go through the vast amount of images who took throughout the week. The images are now online and can be viewed by race number. Pop over to www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk to check out the image collection.