Chhatri smashes course record and moves up on GC

Thorne takes stage win and retains women's lead

Day five took the riders from Machynlleth to Cwmystwyth, some 73km and 2300m of climbing south the fifth linking stage of the TransWales. It also included the fourth special stage at Nant-y-Arian.

Today's special stage would see drama, fight backs and significant changes in the overall classification that proved that although the fat lady was preparing to warm up her vocal chords, she's decided against it and gone for a drink instead. The fight is not yet over - by any stretch of the imagination.

After leaving Machynlleth, the riders climbed through woodland up to Mynydd Bychan at 493m. The woods gave way to stunning wilderness sprinkled liberally with sheep and stone walls, speared by rocky drovers track that made its way to the river crossing of Afon Hengwm. After some wet feet, the trail continued its tumbling way to the stunning Nant-y-Moch reservoir that's situated in a remote saddle. Skirting its shores saw the riders join the outreach of the natural trail component of Nant-y-Arian's Continental trail: a superb blend of flowing manmade singletrack together with an "out there" feel. Following it against the flow brought the riders to the start of the day's special stage at Nant-y-Arian at Liyn Syfydrin. Unlike yesterday's special stage which favoured the descenders, today's was undoubtedly one for the climbers.

The 8km trail centre loop stage began with a sequence of wide rocky climbs and fast descents, before plunging into carving singletrack that switchbacked down the hillside, and kept on going. And going. It finally came to an end at the valley floor where the only way was up. In this case: two miles of relentless and sustained gradient on the infamous fireroad climb, the Leg Burner. It was do or die rhythm time. After the summit the trail swung left for one last short but sharp singletrack dash to the finish.

Prior to the start of today's special stage, the solo men's category looked as though Matt Page (Wiggle) was on his way to taking the overall win as he had a leading margin of almost a minute. However, the smart money was down on Ajay Chhatri (Torq) to light the afterburners on the leg burner climb to claw back some of that deficit. If a sweepstake had been made then a decent lump of cash would've been made as Chhatri lived up to expectation and truly smashed the 8km course in an incredibly fast 21:15. In fact, his time was so swift that it destroyed the previous course record set by Jonathan Pugh in 2009 by a massive 1:40. The net result of Chhatri's heroics is that he took the stage win, reduced Page's overall lead down by half to 29 seconds, and in doing so has moved up into second in the general classification once again.

In the solo veteran men's category, Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC) dug deep and put in a sterling effort to reacquaint himself with the top spot of the podium; he took the win ahead of Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC) by 40 seconds in a time of 22:59 - itself a good enough time to have secured him fifth in the solo men's category. This result means that Whittaker move up to second in the overall, 36 seconds behind Jones, with Andy Roberts moving down to third over a minute behind Whittaker.

The women's duo category has had a great battle so far between the top two teams - Elizabeth Adams and Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28), and Steph Fountain and Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle) - and today was no different. After Saddle Skedaddle's win yesterday on the Climachx special stage Team Number 28 was out to exact revenge. And it did just that. And then some. It took the win by an impressive 1:36 over Saddloe Skeddadle, in a time of 28:11. Kelly Clark and Cath Hempsall took third place. This sees the overall lead change over yet again with Team Number 28 returning to the lead, with Saddle Skedaddle 1:40 ahead behind.

In the solo women's category there was all to play for as Fi Spotswood (Cyclist No 1) and Hannah Thorne were - on paper - both capable of engineering an advantage over the other. After Thorne's second place at last year's TransWales to the UK's 24 Solo National Champion, Rickie Cotter (Wiggle), she obviously has the thirst to go one better this year. Over the last two days her confidence on the descents has been in contrast to Spotswood's, and the win in the downhill special stage has obviously given her the impetus to consolidate her gains. On today's special stage her climbing ability was the only question mark, however she resolutely silenced her critics by producing a ride in a class of her own. She was the only female racer to go sub-26 minutes, finishing the special stage in 25:26 - a clear 39 seconds ahead of Spotswood. Coming in third was a new face for the podium in the form of Anna Buckingham (The Big Adventure Store), who completed the stage in 30:57. Thus, Thorne extended her lead in the overall classification to 47 seconds ahead of Spotswood, with Buckingham also taking third in the overall.

Tomorrow's night time special stage on the 6km Cwm-y-Rhaiadr trail - which is essentially a long and sustained fireroad and singletrack climb, and then one massive sweeping and exhilarating singletrack descent - should be a nail biter. The climb will help Chhatri make up the 29 seconds he's down on Page, however Page has proved the stronger overall descender; coupled with this, he has a home advantage as he lives in Cilycwm just down the road so knows the trails well. But as previous years have shown, the night time special stage can throw added drama into the mix with punctures and tyre slashes aplenty, plus Chhatri can more than hold is own on the singletrack. In essence, the win is very much still either of theirs and tomorrow could help decide who will be crowned and who will be consoled.

Before that, however, there's the small matter of the sixth linking stage that takes the riders from Cymystwyth to Cilycwm, some 74km and 2000m of climbing away. Not only that, but tomorrow's linking stage is expected to be one of the best days riding of the entire TransWales. Featuring the classic Doethie Valley - an awesome 5km singletrack descent that flanks the River Doethie below on a mere ribbon of singletrack - as well as the famous Strata Florida river crossings that sees the trail flit through various rivers and tributaries countless times down a pinball trail that - as long as you get your head around the fact that you're going to get very wet - is ridiculous good fun. It will be a great day to savour and will be full of drama, great trails, thrills and by the day's end we’ll be one step closer to crowning the TransWales for 2011.

Full Results

Solo women special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Thorne0:25:27 
2Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1)0:00:38 
3Anna Buckingham (the big adventure store)0:05:30 
4Abigail Armstrong (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:06:42 
5Saskia Hart0:08:28 
6Angela Burt (Team Anjill)0:14:06 
7Rachel Henderson (Edinburgh RC)0:18:06 
8Grace Leung0:28:06 
Solo men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ajay Chhatri (Torq Team)0:21:16 
2Matthew Page (Wiggle)0:00:30 
3Scott Cornish0:00:53 
4Matt Williams0:01:29 
5Jonathan Harris0:01:50 
6David Ian Price (Drover Cycles)0:01:59 
7Simon Hawken (Army Cycling Union/Primal Europe)0:02:24 
8James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:03:00 
9Rob Brown0:03:08 
10Rob Brickley (Clee Cycles/KCNC)0:03:32 
11Rob Thomas (Gore Bike Wear)0:03:37 
12James Parker0:04:15 
13Adam French0:04:15 
14Lee Monks (Pearce Cycles)0:04:26 
15Richard Edge (Tread Hunters)0:04:42 
16Richard Morgan (The 6th time)0:04:51 
17David Langridge (Stockport Clarion)0:05:03 
18Ryan Machin (Leisure Lakes Cheltenham)0:05:45 
19Richard Querelle0:05:49 
20Steve Bone (Phase 9)0:05:54 
21Philip Mastro0:05:58 
22Gary Lake (Cyclist No 1)0:06:10 
23Nicholas Jones (Myeloma UK.org / M&D Cycles)0:07:04 
24Russell Mawson0:07:18 
25Jon Stapley0:07:24 
26Alex Forester0:08:32 
27Michel Anton0:08:40 
28Florian Tauser0:09:23 
29Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:09:57 
30Paul Burton0:10:05 
31Marc Sharman0:10:09 
32John Chell (Welland Valley CC)0:11:03 
33Ultann George0:11:20 
34Ewan Main0:12:01 
35Ivan Rawlinson0:13:26 
36Aaron Riley0:13:55 
37Damian King0:16:13 
38Chris Howard (Treadscc.co.uk)0:32:17 
Solo veteran men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC)0:22:59 
2Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)0:00:50 
3Gary Cousins (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:02:04 
4Andy Roberts0:02:06 
5Steve Whitehouse (One And All)0:03:38 
6Ian Musgrove (Ians Cycle Centre)0:03:41 
7Roman Petr0:03:53 
8Andy Wilson (For Goodness Shakes)0:04:07 
9Andy Crane0:04:43 
10Chris Watson (Manx Mountainbike Club)0:04:49 
11Andy Wright0:05:03 
12Stephen Wood0:05:07 
13Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:05:56 
14John Mcgillivray (brelades vets)0:06:09 
15Nigel Thomas (TREDZ)0:06:24 
16Dave Ross (Trailbadger)0:07:21 
17Mike Take (Team Tredz)0:08:41 
18Colin Bound0:08:43 
19David Steele (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:08:53 
20Mark Plant0:09:20 
21Paul Steiger0:09:27 
22Nigel Rees0:11:04 
23Paul Whitaker0:15:09 
24Adrian Normanton0:15:28 
25Melvin Waters0:30:34 
26Adrian Peters  
Duo men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:24:23 
2Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger)0:00:55 
3Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto - Chaos)0:01:47 
4Fernando Mainar & Sergio Leal (Dekora Team)0:02:23 
5Ben Warrick & David Evans0:02:40 
6David Tortoishell & Stuart Crighton (Army Cycling Union)0:03:56 
7David Askin & David O'brien (Rally da Digger)0:03:58 
8Dean Camier & Tim Hughes (Kings of Lemon)0:04:48 
9David Cooper & Chris Murray (Norfolk In Chance)0:11:33 
10Daniel Liddle & Jason Aspden (mucky melyd)0:14:25 
Duo women special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team number 28 (better name to follow!))0:28:11 
2Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle)0:01:41 
3Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall0:05:13 
4Nell Hall & Rachael Harrison0:16:56 
Duo veteran men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL)0:36:27 
2Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White spirit)0:05:50 
Duo mixed special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association)0:28:32 
2John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates)0:01:00 
3Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe)0:05:38 
Solo women general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Thorne35:15:54 
2Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1)0:00:47 
3Anna Buckingham (the big adventure store)0:12:15 
4Saskia Hart0:15:22 
5Abigail Armstrong (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:16:24 
6Angela Burt (Team Anjill)0:27:04 
7Rachel Henderson (Edinburgh RC)0:37:33 
8Grace Leung0:59:06 
Solo men general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Page (Wiggle)35:08:46 
2Ajay Chhatri (Torq Team)0:00:31 
3Matt Williams0:02:03 
4David Ian Price (Drover Cycles)0:02:45 
5Simon Hawken (Army Cycling Union/Primal Europe)0:03:25 
6James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:03:29 
7Scott Cornish0:03:56 
8Jonathan Harris0:04:55 
9Rob Brown0:05:14 
10Rob Thomas (Gore Bike Wear)0:06:35 
11Rob Brickley (Clee Cycles/KCNC)0:07:21 
12Adam French0:07:29 
13Richard Edge (Tread Hunters)0:08:12 
14Ryan Machin (Leisure Lakes Cheltenham)0:08:14 
15Lee Monks (Pearce Cycles)0:08:18 
16Richard Morgan (The 6th time)0:08:33 
17David Langridge (Stockport Clarion)0:08:58 
18James Parker0:09:15 
19Gary Lake (Cyclist No 1)0:09:56 
20Philip Mastro0:10:14 
21Steve Bone (Phase 9)0:11:54 
22Nicholas Jones (Myeloma UK.org / M&D Cycles)0:12:25 
23Jon Stapley0:12:47 
24Richard Querelle0:12:54 
25Russell Mawson0:12:57 
26Alex Forester0:13:10 
27Marc Sharman0:13:50 
28Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:15:45 
29Paul Burton0:15:53 
30Michel Anton0:17:54 
31Florian Tauser0:18:04 
32Ultann George0:19:16 
33Ewan Main0:21:19 
34Ivan Rawlinson0:24:27 
35John Chell (Welland Valley CC)0:24:58 
36Aaron Riley0:27:00 
37Damian King0:31:33 
38Chris Howard (Treadscc.co.uk)0:42:43 
Solo veteran men general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)35:12:06 
2Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC)0:00:36 
3Andy Roberts0:02:11 
4Gary Cousins (phasen9clothing.co.uk)0:02:19 
5Ian Musgrove (Ians Cycle Centre)0:05:10 
6Andy Wilson (For Goodness Shakes)0:05:53 
7Steve Whitehouse (One And All)0:06:51 
8Chris Watson (Manx Mountainbike Club)0:08:40 
9Andy Crane0:08:49 
10Stephen Wood0:10:00 
11John Mcgillivray (brelades vets)0:10:09 
12Roman Petr0:10:10 
13Nigel Thomas (TREDZ)0:11:30 
14Andy Wright0:11:36 
15Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:12:05 
16Colin Bound0:15:14 
17Mike Take (Team Tredz)0:15:20 
18David Steele (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:16:27 
19Mark Plant0:17:04 
20Nigel Rees0:18:56 
21Paul Steiger0:19:51 
22Dave Ross (Trailbadger)0:24:22 
23Paul Whitaker0:24:52 
24Adrian Normanton0:31:10 
25Adrian Peters0:47:36 
26Melvin Waters0:50:42 
Duo men general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC)35:13:52 
2Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger)0:01:25 
3Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto - Chaos)0:05:24 
4David Askin & David O'brien (Rally da Digger)0:05:50 
5David Tortoishell & Stuart Crighton (Army Cycling Union)0:07:37 
6Dean Camier & Tim Hughes (Kings of Lemon)0:09:20 
7Fernando Mainar & Sergio Leal (Dekora Team)0:13:29 
8Daniel Liddle & Jason Aspden (mucky melyd)0:16:49 
9David Cooper & Chris Murray (Norfolk In Chance)0:18:13 
10Ben Warrick & David Evans0:25:29 
Duo women general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team number 28 (better name to follow!))35:22:39 
2Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle)0:01:20 
3Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall0:08:57 
4Nell Hall & Rachael Harrison0:27:21 
Duo veteran men general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL)35:30:20 
2Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White spirit)0:12:56 
Duo mixed team general classification after day 5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association)35:22:04 
2John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates)0:03:36 
3Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe)0:11:11 
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