Cotter, Hawson both make it two wins in a row

Racers carry on despite rainy conditions on toughest day

The sixth day of the Gore Bike Wear TrnsWales kicked off under terrible skies. The previous nights' rain that had made the night time trial special stage such a challenging event had resisted all attempts to wish it away and underlined that it was here to stay. All day.

It might have been grim, but the riders' dragged themselves to the start line and got on with the business of pedalling the 75km to Brecon.

After a brief spin along the blacktop, the riders hit the dirt and climbed up into the depths of Halfway Forest. Here a maze of forest tracks convulsed through the trees down steep chutes and slate descents and sheltered the riders from the worst of the weather. Which was just as well as a motorbike enduro had been marked out using exactly the same marker arrows as the TransWales - there were literally arrows everywhere. This all meant that riders had to pay serious attention in order to pick up the correct route through the forest, helped in no small part by the organisers' daubing white marks on the TransWales arrows to help them standout.

After solving the labyrinth, the riders fuelled up at the lunch stop and headed up to face the brunt of the weather on the most exposed portion of the day's stage: the Roman road that lead to Trecastle. After a steep, rocky and very slippery climb, the gradient slackened somewhat but still headed upwards. However, as the rain was coming down it felt like riding up a fast flowing stream more than up a trail. Then the rains and wind hit. And the echoes of thunder and the vision of lightning - all on the highest, most exposed section of the stage. Hanging around to take in the scenery or dawdling was not a good idea. The route then the headed southwards before skirting around the fringes of the Brecon Beacons and making a beeline for Brecon along a steady descent along grassy moorland and narrow lanes. Then the finish, finally.

All told, the toughest day of the TransWales was a genuine war of attrition as it wrung out the reserves of power and endurance, as well as mental resolve on the wettest and windiest day of the whole event. Riders described it as "savage", "devastating", " grim and gritty", but all said that they enjoyed surprisingly good trails.

But it didn't just test the riders; it tested their bikes too. With numerous mechanicals from jammed brakes, tubeless failures, severe "how the hell did it get jammed in there?!" chain suck and more, the strains and stresses of six hard days of riding were taking their toll. But once finished, the riders were back in civilisation, the rains eased to sporadic light showers and the sun began to poke its nose out every once in a while.

After the stage's finish, the results and podiums were announced for the Night Time Trial special stage the night before.

In the solo women's category, Rickie Cotter (WXC Racing) again swept to victory for her second consecutive stage win ahead of Hannah Thorne. Although Cotter had a serious mechanical - her rear wheel came out on the descent - she did enough work to cushion the advance of Thorne to win the stage by 19 seconds.Cotter took the overall lead in a time of 39 hours, 37 minutes and 11 seconds - just seven seconds ahead of second-placed Thorne. With just the final special stage - a 2km sprint - at Builth Wells tomorrow, this category couldn't be closer.

Aussie Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting) also made it two consecutive wins as he took the course by the scruff of the neck in a time of 20 minutes and 48 seconds, the fastest time of the entire night. This sees him stretch his lead in the solo men's category to two minutes. Although Hawson is beginning to stretch his lead, the battle for second behind him hotted up: before coming into the stage Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti) was second ahead of third-placed Greig Walker by 37 seconds. However, Grosvenor couldn't match the scorching pace that Hawson had set and loss time, eventually finishing seventh on the night. This slip backwards allowed Walker to reverse his deficit and move ahead into second on the overall by 31 seconds.

In the men's duo category, the flying aces Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC) continued to soar away from second placed rivals in the overall, Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown), by another 44 seconds resulting in an overall advantage of eight minutes and 54 seconds. Barring a serious crash or catastrophic mechanical, The RAFCC boys look set to take the title on the short 2km final special stage tomorrow. Behind them, things are a little closer with second and third (Darren Koslicki and Adam Wroz (Team Unknown) and Gary Cousins and Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk) separated by one minutes.

Elsewhere in the mixed duo category, Claire Neuhoff and Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons) finally got the win they were looking for by just over a minute after a run of second places. Behind them, Luc Selen and Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch) beat Niki Lane and Chris Watson (The Old Goats) for second. The result let the Clantons stretch their lead in the overall to just under two minutes - enough, barring calamities, to keep the overall lead through to the bitter end.

Final stage preview

All this, together with the promise that tomorrow's final stage is a mere 52km long and with just 1380m of climbing, helped lift riders' spirits and their satisfaction that they had broken the back of the TransWales monster. Tomorrow is the last leg of the seven-day challenge. It includes the final, deciding special stage at journey's end in Builth Wells.

Special stage 4 full results

Solo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)0:24:57 
2Hannah Thorne0:00:19 
3Amanda Brooks0:04:25 
4Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:07:59 
5Annie Marson (Annie)0:08:22 
6Joy Bringer (justgiving.com/Cymru-Cry)0:09:05 
7Camilla Edlin0:12:51 
8Emma Johnstone0:22:07 
9Claire Pinder  
Solo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)0:20:48 
2Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:00:56 
3Greig Walker0:01:05 
4Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:01:29 
5Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)0:01:42 
6Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:02:01 
7Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)0:02:11 
8Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:02:31 
9Matthew Bertram0:02:45 
10James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:03:31 
11Eddy Rossini0:03:35 
12Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:03:39 
13Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)0:04:39 
14Richard Morgan (Bike4life)  
15Paul Crowley0:04:56 
16Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:05:26 
17Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:05:38 
18Andrew Gardner0:05:46 
19Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:05:57 
20Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:06:09 
21Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:06:12 
22Green Groenewald0:06:14 
23Christopher Snook0:06:15 
24Marco Kaiser0:06:45 
25Lee Price0:06:53 
26Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:06:54 
27Victor Potgieter0:07:00 
28Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:07:15 
29Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:07:18 
30Bram Duin (CTWT)0:07:27 
31Dan Nisbet0:07:54 
32Paul Burton0:08:48 
33Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:09:14 
34Mark Whelan0:09:15 
35Brian Kierwan (Iplod)0:09:55 
36David Hinks0:10:00 
37Paul Clark (phase9clothing.com)0:10:11 
38Andrew Smith0:10:24 
39Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:10:34 
40Benjamin Smith0:12:54 
41Johan Putter (Superiato)0:15:49 
42Paul Latchem (www.phase9clothing.com)0:16:24 
43Rob Birmingham (www.MBNW.co.uk)0:17:42 
44Matthew Breakwell0:20:32 
45Myles Pawley0:24:16 
46Alan Griffin0:26:16 
47Russell Mawson  
48Mark Holroyd  
49Joshua Brady  
50Daryn Thompson  
51Matthew Woodall  
52Alex Cameron  
53Andrew Latham  
54Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)  
55Johan Diamond  
56Charles Boucher  
57Richard Querelle  
Solo vet men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)0:22:27 
2Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:01:09 
3Thomas Wilkens (Dirtworker.de)0:01:45 
4Adrian Brown0:03:26 
5Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:03:32 
6Steve Whitehouse0:03:59 
7Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:06:29 
8Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:06:39 
9Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:06:40 
10Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:08:00 
11Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:08:07 
12Kevin Rolt0:08:22 
13Stephen Burke0:08:35 
14William Jones (Bilbo)0:08:41 
15Henry Harris0:09:55 
16Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:10:02 
17Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:24:37 
18Tony Munoz  
19229  
20Ray Blaber  
21Chris Roberts  
22Steffan Van Molendorff  
23Craig Murdoch  
24Laurence Moore (old fart)  
25Erik Deferme (Warringa)  
26Doug Little  
26Johan Jansen  
Duo men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)0:21:08 
2Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:00:44 
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:02:26 
4Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:02:59 
5Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:06:35 
6Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:07:11 
7Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)  
8Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:09:22 
9Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam Kabeljauws.nl)0:12:14 
10Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:14:52 
11Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:20:00 
12Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)  
13Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)  
14Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)  
15Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)  
16Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)  
17Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)  
19Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)  
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)  
Duo women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)0:30:59 
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:01:01 
Duo vet men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)0:29:55 
2Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard0:11:13 
Duo mixed
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:25:41 
2Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:01:03 
3Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:02:37 
4Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:05:24 
5Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:10:46 
6Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:13:27 
7Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)0:15:27 

General classification after day 6

Solo women general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)39:37:11 
2Hannah Thorne0:00:07 
3Amanda Brooks0:07:44 
4Annie Marson (Annie)0:18:57 
5Joy Bringer (justgiving.com/Cymru-Cry)0:21:15 
6Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:23:14 
7Camilla Edlin0:27:41 
8Claire Pinder0:43:48 
9Emma Johnstone1:04:49 
Solo men general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)39:24:55 
2Greig Walker0:02:06 
3Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)0:02:35 
4Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:03:16 
5Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:03:46 
6Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:04:20 
7Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)0:05:18 
8Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:05:54 
9James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:06:17 
10Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:07:18 
11Eddy Rossini0:08:16 
12Matthew Bertram0:09:21 
13Richard Morgan (Bike4life)0:10:20 
14Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)0:12:05 
15Green Groenewald0:12:47 
16Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:14:18 
17Lee Price0:14:32 
18Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:14:33 
19Andrew Gardner0:15:17 
20Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:15:19 
21Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:15:40 
22Marco Kaiser0:15:44 
23Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:15:52 
24Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:16:00 
25Christopher Snook0:16:28 
26Paul Crowley0:18:06 
27Victor Potgieter0:18:33 
28Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:18:37 
29Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:18:47 
30Dan Nisbet0:20:29 
31Mark Whelan0:20:35 
32Bram Duin (CTWT)0:21:10 
33Brian Kierwan (Iplod)0:22:25 
34Paul Clark (phase9clothing.com)0:22:42 
35Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:23:00 
36Paul Burton0:23:10 
37David Hinks0:23:51 
38Johan Putter (Superiato)0:27:40 
39Andrew Smith0:28:22 
40Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:29:52 
41Benjamin Smith0:32:39 
42Charles Boucher0:35:01 
43Rob Birmingham (www.MBNW.co.uk)0:35:02 
44Richard Querelle0:35:50 
45Russell Mawson0:36:08 
46Paul Latchem (www.phase9clothing.com)0:38:48 
47Joshua Brady0:39:37 
48Daryn Thompson0:39:38 
49Myles Pawley0:40:21 
50Andrew Latham0:40:40 
51Matthew Breakwell0:41:54 
52Alan Griffin0:44:11 
53Alex Cameron0:45:43 
54Johan Diamond0:46:57 
55Matthew Woodall0:51:10 
56Mark Holroyd1:02:06 
57Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)1:20:59 
Solo vet men general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)39:30:19 
2Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:01:17 
3Thomas Wilkens (Dirtworker.de)0:04:21 
4Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:05:48 
5Steve Whitehouse0:06:34 
6Adrian Brown0:09:56 
7Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:11:03 
8Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:13:47 
9Henry Harris0:17:01 
10William Jones (Bilbo)0:18:11 
11Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:19:26 
12Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:19:28 
13Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:19:32 
14Kevin Rolt0:20:29 
15Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:23:07 
16Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:27:03 
17Ray Blaber0:33:02 
18Erik Deferme (Warringa)0:34:11 
19Johan Jansen0:34:36 
20Craig Murdoch0:35:00 
21Chris Roberts0:37:28 
22Doug Little0:47:02 
23Tony Munoz0:47:56 
24Stephen Burke0:49:38 
25Laurence Moore (old fart)0:58:03 
26Steffan Van Molendorff1:02:29 
26Jason Stephens1:07:03 
Duo men general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)39:24:49 
2Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:04:54 
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:05:54 
4Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:07:40 
5Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)0:16:21 
6Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:18:08 
7Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:18:24 
8Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:18:58 
9Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam Kabeljauws.nl)0:24:52 
10Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:26:51 
11Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)0:31:00 
12Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)0:31:44 
13Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)0:34:35 
14Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:39:51 
15Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)0:46:01 
16Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)0:46:50 
17Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)0:49:54 
19Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)1:03:53 
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)1:08:06 
Duo women general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)39:48:21 
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:02:29 
Duo veteran men general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)39:52:38 
2Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard0:11:09 
Duo mixed general classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)39:38:33 
2Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:01:07 
3Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:10:53 
4Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)0:16:14 
5Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:17:23 
6Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:18:42 
7Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:32:25 
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