Hawson wins time trial despite flat

Cotter pins it for women's special stage victory

Day four featured the third special stage, an abridged 8.5km time trial at the 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 nowhere 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 solo men's category and has 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, he had a front puncture as he was pinning it; however, his luck must be improving as even with the flat, his time of 23:15 was enough to take the stage win by 21 seconds from Greig Walker, who was 13 seconds ahead of third placed Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion). This means that Hawson (Ayup Lighting) retook the lead in the general classification ahead of Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti) by 24 seconds.

In the solo women's 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 26:09. Hannah Thorne pushed hard and came in second in a time of 28:37. The previous leader in the category, Fi Spotswood (For Goodness Shakes), has returned home to Bristol which opened the door and laid down the welcome mat for Hannah Thorne to take the overall women's lead, just 12 seconds ahead of Cotter.

In the duo men's category, Neil Richardson and Dan Lewis (RAFCC) put in the fastest performance of the entire stage in an average combined time of 22:57, a time that would have given either of them the win in the solo category. It was also a clear two minutes 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 2:10.

Elsewhere, in the mixed duo category, the overall changed hands due to the solid consistency of previously second-placed pair Claire 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 five seconds. This all means that each of the top three teams (Team Ohh!, The Clantons, and Double Dutch) have held the lead in the overall at some point, and they are now separated by less than 20 seconds.

The pressure will continue for the fourth special stage tomorrow, the night stage at Cwm Rhaidr. 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. Blend into this backdrop one of the most loved trails in the race's history: the Doethie Valley singletrack descent as the highlight of the linking stage and the fifth day promises to be the best so far.

Special stage 3 results

Solo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)0:26:09 
2Hannah Thorne0:02:28 
3Amanda Brooks0:05:07 
4Joy Bringer (justgiving.com/Cymru-Cry)0:07:42 
5Annie Marson (Annie)0:08:52 
6Camilla Edlin0:11:29 
7Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:12:16 
8Claire Pinder0:17:22 
9Emma Johnstone0:36:27 
Solo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)0:23:15 
2Greig Walker0:00:31 
3Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:00:44 
4Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)0:01:19 
5Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:01:23 
6Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:01:26 
7Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:01:40 
8Eddy Rossini0:02:20 
9James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:02:35 
10Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)0:02:49 
11Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:03:05 
12Richard Morgan (Bike4life)0:04:09 
13Matthew Bertram0:04:38 
14Green Groenewald0:04:41 
15Lee Price0:05:08 
16Richard Querelle0:05:17 
17Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)0:05:28 
18Charles Boucher0:05:43 
19Andrew Gardner0:05:49 
20Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:05:54 
21Marco Kaiser0:05:56 
22Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:06:05 
23Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:06:16 
24Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:06:47 
25Christopher Snook0:06:59 
26Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:07:06 
27Bram Duin (CTWT)0:07:20 
28Joshua Brady0:07:31 
29Victor Potgieter0:07:32 
30Russell Mawson0:07:35 
31Paul Crowley0:07:42 
32Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:07:47 
33Mark Whelan0:08:15 
34Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:08:25 
35Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:08:38 
36Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:08:42 
37Dan Nisbet0:09:06 
38Paul Clark (phase9clothing.com)0:09:07 
39Daryn Thompson0:09:09 
40Johan Putter (Superiato)0:09:11 
41David Hinks0:09:21 
42Brian Kierwan (Iplod)0:09:52 
43Paul Burton0:10:37 
44Myles Pawley  
45Andrew Smith0:11:25 
46Andrew Latham0:11:55 
47Rob Birmingham (www.MBNW.co.uk)0:12:05 
48Johan Diamond0:13:51 
49Alan Griffin0:13:53 
50Benjamin Smith0:14:07 
51Alex Cameron0:14:11 
52Matthew Breakwell0:14:32 
53Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:14:47 
54Matthew Woodall0:15:47 
55Paul Latchem (www.phase9clothing.com)0:16:14 
56Mark Holroyd0:22:35 
57Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)0:41:21 
Solo veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)0:25:08 
2Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:00:43 
3Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:02:00 
4Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:02:31 
5Steve Whitehouse0:02:41 
6Thomas Wilkens (Dirtworker.de)0:02:43 
7Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:03:23 
8Adrian Brown0:04:14 
9Henry Harris0:04:24 
10Johan Jansen0:04:32 
11Erik Deferme (Warringa)0:05:13 
12Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:05:24 
13William Jones (Bilbo)0:07:11 
14Ray Blaber0:07:38 
15Craig Murdoch0:08:04 
16Kevin Rolt0:08:25 
17Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:08:47 
18Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:08:56 
19Chris Roberts0:09:33 
20Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:10:33 
21Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:10:47 
22Tony Munoz0:16:24 
23Doug Little0:18:06 
24Laurence Moore (old fart)0:21:58 
25Steffan Van Molendorff0:26:26 
26Stephen Burke0:39:28 
Duo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)0:22:57 
2Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:02:01 
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:03:02 
4Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:03:31 
5Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:03:55 
6Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)0:06:05 
7Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:06:57 
8Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)0:07:04 
9Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:07:24 
10Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)0:08:19 
11Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam Kabeljauws.nl)0:08:21 
12Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)0:08:49 
13Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:09:11 
14Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)0:12:39 
15Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)0:13:33 
16Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:13:40 
17Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)0:20:42 
19Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)0:22:42 
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)  
Duo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)0:32:38 
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:00:10 
Duo veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard0:35:13 
2Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)0:02:39 
Duo mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:28:19 
2Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:00:17 
3Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)0:02:17 
4Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:04:53 
5Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:06:04 
6Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:08:10 
7Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:13:55 

General classification after day four

Solo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Thorne26:12:02 
2Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)0:00:12 
3Amanda Brooks0:03:31 
4Annie Marson (Annie)0:10:47 
5Joy Bringer (justgiving.com/Cymru-Cry)0:12:22 
6Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:14:59 
7Camilla Edlin0:15:02 
8Claire Pinder0:21:25 
9Emma Johnstone0:40:54 
Solo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)26:04:07 
2Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)0:00:24 
3Greig Walker0:01:01 
4Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:02:17 
5Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:02:19 
6Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:02:20 
7James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:02:46 
8Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:03:23 
9Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)0:03:36 
10Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:03:39 
11Eddy Rossini0:04:41 
12Richard Morgan (Bike4life)0:05:41 
13Green Groenewald0:06:33 
14Matthew Bertram0:06:36 
15Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)0:07:26 
16Lee Price0:07:39 
17Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:08:09 
18Charles Boucher0:08:45 
19Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:08:51 
20Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:08:55 
21Marco Kaiser0:08:59 
22Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:09:07 
23Andrew Gardner0:09:31 
24Richard Querelle0:09:34 
25Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:09:43 
26Russell Mawson0:09:52 
27Christopher Snook0:10:13 
28Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:10:34 
29Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:11:19 
30Mark Whelan0:11:20 
31Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:11:32 
32Victor Potgieter0:11:33 
33Johan Putter (Superiato)0:11:51 
34Joshua Brady0:12:12 
35Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:12:18 
36Paul Clark (phase9clothing.com)  
37Brian Kierwan (Iplod)0:12:21 
38Dan Nisbet0:12:35 
39Paul Crowley0:13:10 
40Daryn Thompson0:13:22 
41Bram Duin (CTWT)0:13:43 
42David Hinks0:13:51 
43Paul Burton0:14:09 
44Andrew Latham0:14:24 
45Myles Pawley0:16:05 
46Rob Birmingham (www.MBNW.co.uk)0:16:11 
47Alan Griffin0:17:49 
48Andrew Smith0:17:58 
49Benjamin Smith0:19:17 
50Alex Cameron  
51Matthew Breakwell0:20:13 
52Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:20:38 
53Johan Diamond0:20:41 
54Paul Latchem (www.phase9clothing.com)0:21:48 
55Matthew Woodall0:23:45 
56Mark Holroyd0:34:05 
57Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)0:52:43 
Solo veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)26:07:52 
2Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:00:08 
3Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:01:41 
4Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:02:16 
5Steve Whitehouse0:02:35 
6Thomas Wilkens (Dirtworker.de)0:02:36 
7Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:04:23 
8Adrian Brown0:06:30 
9Henry Harris0:07:06 
10Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:07:08 
11Ray Blaber0:08:25 
12William Jones (Bilbo)0:09:30 
13Erik Deferme (Warringa)0:09:34 
14Johan Jansen0:09:42 
15Craig Murdoch0:10:23 
16Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:11:21 
17Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:11:26 
18Chris Roberts0:12:03 
19Kevin Rolt0:12:07 
20Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:12:49 
21Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:13:05 
22Doug Little0:20:25 
23Tony Munoz0:22:46 
24Laurence Moore (old fart)0:32:17 
25Steffan Van Molendorff0:36:53 
26Stephen Burke0:41:03 
26Jason Stephens0:42:26 
Duo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)26:03:41 
2Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:02:10 
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:03:27 
4Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:04:41 
5Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:04:51 
6Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:08:46 
7Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)0:09:09 
8Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)0:09:44 
9Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)0:11:00 
10Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:11:14 
11Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:12:23 
12Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam Kabeljauws.nl)0:12:38 
13Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)0:13:59 
14Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:24:56 
15Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)0:25:01 
16Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)0:25:19 
17Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)0:27:54 
19Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)0:41:53 
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)0:46:06 
Duo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)26:17:10 
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:01:28 
Duo veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard26:22:40 
2Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)0:00:03 
Duo mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)26:12:51 
2Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:00:05 
3Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)0:00:18 
4Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:06:10 
5Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:08:18 
6Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:12:45 
7Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:18:09 
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