After seven days and 550 kilometers riding with 15,500 meters of climbing, Frans Claes (Connections Granville) and Fiona Spotswood (Ironhorse Extreme) have claimed the open solo categories in the 2008 Merida Bikes TransWales Challenge.
The final linking stage took riders from beautiful Strata Florida with its ancient abbey back home to Builth Wells, some 84km and 2500m of climbing away and in the end, the TransWales saw the closest racing in the event's history: in many categories, racers had been swapping the lead in the general classification all week with no one clear superpower dominating. With the final special stage yesterday again seeing fresh winners in some categories, it made for a suitably climactic finish to the event and all was finally revealed in Builth Wells.
After more than 45 hours of total riding, Claes finished just 23-seconds ahead of second place rider Ewan Thorburn (Fat Tread Bikes) and 43-seconds ahead of Ryan Bevies (RAM Bikes). In the women's solo open category, Spotswood finished 2:13 ahead of Katrina Brown (Deeside Total Endurance) and 39:34 in front of Amy Baron-Hall (trio25.blogspot.com).
For full reports and results from the 2008 TransWales, click here.