Ibbett takes lead in TransWales

Cotter faster than Italian marathon champion Covre on day two

Day two's linking stage rolled out of Llandiloes at 9:00 am to follow the River Severn towards its source in Hafren Forest before exiting the riders prior to the ascent of Penycrocben at 469m - an open moor which was the site of a Roman fortlet that today merely guards stunning views to the south east. The trail then gently sped downwards towards a tricky rocky chute that spat riders onto a bridge before a short hike-a-bike. Lunch was served at the head of the descent towards the Dyfi Valley to help riders refuel and regroup before charging down a wet and rock slab lathered trail. The descent dropped the riders Foel Fadian at 564m into the Dyfi Valley itself amidst scenery that to die for. "I always forget how good the scenery is here," said singlespeeder Matt Carr, "it could be Scotland or Patagonia."

The Climachx trail is perhaps one of the lesser known gems on the Welsh trail centre map; lacking the trail blazing history of nearby Coed y Brenin or the well-publicised trail density of Afan Argoed in south wales, it's often overlooked. Beginning off a rolling start down some fireroad, it swoops downwards on undulating singletrack and into the woods for an extended section of flowing but rockier terrain. Stone slabs and steps pepper the descent as it snakes its way around the flanks of Myndd-Fron-Felen with enough square edges to see one unlucky rider accruing no less than four punctures. For those with full pressure running in their tyres, the descent then careers faster and faster until the bermalicious crescendo that helps them recreate the speeder bike scene from Return of the Jedi. For those with punctures, it's the rumble of rim on dirt and rock and sketchy turns or a long walk.

Unlike previous TransWales events, for the 2009 edition, the special stages are run during the linking stage itself so that riders' flow wasn't interrupted. They leave the event village in the morning, ride to the special stage, race, and then ride off to the day's end afterwards. This means that tactics on the linking stage are now very much part of the game: should riders go out on the first part of the linking stage in order to arrive at the special stage with clear trail ahead of them for an unimpeded passage? Or should they go steady and hold plenty of reserve in the tank for when they reach the special stage (but also risk getting caught up in traffic on the special stage itself) and then light up the afterburner? For the case of the first man down the special stage it was both.

Johnathan Pugh was first through on the linking stage and the first to the special stage gate; he then put the hammer down and redlined to the finish some 11km hence, and although he admitted afterwards, "[it was] hard on the climb and I was in the big ring, I kept on telling myself, 'Don't pussy out - keep it in the big ring.'" not even the sporadic jet scream of low-flying RAF (Royal Air Force) jets could distract him putting in a time of 25 minutes and 56 seconds. "I was pleased with that as I couldn't have gone any faster." He didn't need to: he was the fastest on the Climachx stage and two minutes clear of his nearest rival in the Schwalbe Tyres men's solo category.

But unlike other endurance racers Pugh isn't on a carbon fibre lightweight rig, he's on an aluminium 120mm travel Trek Fuel EX that weighs in at the 29lb mark all in - seven pounds or so off racing weight. But such solidity and capability means that he can nail the descents without shirking hitting things hard and flat out. Couple this with 2.5-inch tubeless tyres and Pugh feels he can "more than make up any time on a long descent."

Interestingly, Pugh isn't the only racer who has swapped a lightweight 100mm full suss race bike for a trail bike's superior firepower: Josh Ibbett of IronHorse-Extreme is aboard an Iron Horse MKIII and Steve Heading of Whyte Bikes is on a Whyte E-120. Ibbett clocked 28 minutes and 20 seconds to take second on the day in the men's solo category; Steve Heading romped the course in a total time of 28 minutes and three seconds to secure the leader's jersey in the men's solo veteran category - his time that would've placed him second in the men's solo category ahead of Ibbett. Proof, if ever it were needed that fast riders are fast, no matter what bike you put them on.

For Nickson Mwaura the Climachx was his first chance to get to grips with British trail centre terrain; for the duration of the linking stage - as he was yesterday - he'd been right up there with the front runners and seen his way safely down the descent off Foel Fadian - although he admitted he didn't expect to encounter such a severe trail during the event - but the special stage itself saw him struggle with the wet conditions under tyre making things still trickier for the Kenyan. "It was wet and when you placed your tyre somewhere it just went," he said. "I came off on the rocks and [I] didn't have it [mentally] together." But by the time he rolled over the finish line, he'd clocked the 43 minutes and 45 seconds, roughly 17 minutes off the pace to finish 39th overall.

In the open women's category, Italian Marathon Champion Marika Covre (Ideal - Vivibike) put a great effort in with a committed display of flat-out racing, looking confident and assured on the descents until she overcooked it on one of the final berms and lost valuable seconds. In the end she had to settle for second behind a scorching aggressive ride by Rickie Justine Cotter (Cytek). Cotter took the trail by the scruff of its neck to clock the fastest female ride of the day in a time of 34 minutes and 40 seconds, a clear minute and 21 seconds faster than Covre.

Last year's solo female winner Fi Spotswood returned for her fourth consecutive TransWales event; this time, however, she was competing in the Mixed category with riding partner Michael Tomlinson (South Fork Racing) and looking for another top podium result. However the mixed category looks like being a close-run one as Maddie & Jay Horton (Team Certini) have strong designs on the overall. Maddie & Jay Horton took the early lead by romping home on the Climachx trail in a time of 29 minutes and 49 seconds, just under a minute up on Spotswood and Tomlinson who finished in 30 minutes and 42 seconds.

The respective category winners of the special stage automatically become the respective leaders of their categories, with their overall times reflecting the allotted time limits for each linking stage, plus any time penalties accrued along the way.

Day three preview

Day three will see the riders head southwards via special stage two at Nant-y-Arian - including the infamous (and seemingly never ending) Leg Burner climb - before continuing to the stage's end at Cwmystwyth some 73km and 2,300m of climbing hence.

The special stage itself will be a real test of pacing, endurance, and technique as it will take up 25km of the total distance, combining rugged natural trail with sublime singletrack, and a significant amount of climbing. It'll be a real test of the current leaders' metal and could potentially see a significant shift in the overall.

Results

Special stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rickie Justine Cotter (Cytek)0:34:40 
2Marika Covre (Ideal - Vivibike)0:00:41 
3Amy O'Loughlin (Beyond 925)0:04:26 
4Amy Baron-Hall (trio25.blogspot.com)0:05:52 
5Maggie McPhillips (Stockport Clarion)0:07:56 
6Lowri Bunn (Lowri)0:08:22 
7Tatjana Troll0:12:09 
8Catherine West0:28:07 
9Sarah Haley  
Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Pugh (clee cycles KCNC high 5)0:25:56 
2Josh Ibbett (IronHorse-Extreme)0:02:24 
3Jon Bowie (Trismart)0:03:42 
4Gethin Howells (Swansea Wheelers)0:04:26 
5Andy Barnsley0:05:07 
6Mark McPhillips (Stockport Clarion)0:05:25 
7Graham Mcconaghy (army cycling union)0:05:27 
8James Sanford (BIKE RLC)0:05:29 
9Andrew Mitchell (Chester Tri)0:06:29 
10Rob Brown0:07:09 
11Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:08:34 
12Richard Morgan0:08:36 
13Matt Carr (Trek Bikes)0:08:44 
14Ben Washington (Gore Bike Wear)0:09:19 
15Ben Phillips0:09:49 
16James Dyson (PEDALSPORT CC)0:10:25 
17Neil Atkinson (Rideon/Buff)0:10:26 
18Matthew Smith (Valley-Boy)0:10:53 
19Robin Calverley (Royal Air Force)0:10:58 
20Lee Price0:11:08 
21Robert Finch (RAFCC)0:11:12 
22Rob Gates (Berks on Bikes)0:11:14 
23Damian Keefe (Team DK)0:11:23 
24Lee Bacco0:11:41 
25Michael Dahlhausen0:11:50 
26Will McCabe0:12:12 
27Matthew Wood (West Drayton MBC)0:12:56 
28Andy Beardsley (Oakes Surveys)0:13:51 
29Ricky Dickenson (Cytek)0:14:09 
30Wayne Harper0:14:43 
31Oliver Castle (Mao MTB)0:14:49 
32Rob Gray (Blue Ocean IQ)0:15:29 
33Richard Querelle0:16:17 
34David James (Anything 4 A Ride)0:16:36 
35Ben Amesbury (Clwydian)  
36Jason Keith (nmbc / midaircrisis)0:17:11 
37Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:17:14 
38Phil Dowling (ride-bikes.com)0:17:48 
39Nickson Mwaura0:17:49 
40Paul Plowman (Anything 4 A Ride)0:18:01 
41Mark Gray (Knackered Knees)0:18:19 
42Noel Gonsalves0:19:16 
43Robert Jones (The long and the slow of it)0:21:47 
44Paul Clark (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)0:22:33 
45Anton Michel0:24:01 
46Ben Nathan (victoria inn)0:24:06 
47Rob Holbeche (No Friends No Gears)0:25:19 
48Rick Banks (methley massive minus 1)0:25:21 
49Marco kaiser (Team Rad'n Roll)0:36:51 
50Jay Elliott (Bikini Shack)  
51Neil Walters  
52Paul Latchem (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)  
53Chris Carter (MERIDA)  
54Neil Dobson (THRESHOLD)  
55Pascal Herrmann (Gore Bike Wear)  
Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steve Heading (White Racing UK)0:28:03 
2Gareth Bowyer (ffasiynau anabelle fashions)0:02:03 
3Jonathan Edwards0:02:10 
4Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:03:16 
5Andy Heading0:04:29 
6Gary Cousins (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)0:04:40 
7Graham Hughes0:05:40 
8Steve Whitehouse0:07:32 
9Tim Johnson0:08:24 
10Henry Harris (Gillingham Wheelers)0:08:39 
11Bryan Stadden0:09:15 
12Simon McAllister (Team Sinobill)0:09:20 
13Alex Spiteri-James0:09:52 
14Paul Clarke (Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA)0:10:12 
15Nick Beauchamp0:10:28 
16Adrian Rees (Solitary Refinement)0:11:00 
17Gary Hull (chicken legs)0:11:02 
18Steve Eastwood (Chester Tri)0:11:30 
19Ray Morriss (Mintcake MTB)0:11:53 
20Andy Hull0:12:53 
21Mario Manica (Carpentari)0:12:55 
22Steve Parsons (Beyond 925)0:13:23 
23Bill Neave (da me (da fatty))0:13:36 
24Duncan Mellish0:15:03 
25Tim Hazell0:15:59 
26Andy Crane0:18:05 
27Tom Dunn0:18:50 
28Gary Wright (NorPol)0:19:05 
29Martin Door0:21:06 
30Dave Mansell (Madmance)0:22:33 
31Stéphane Van Wonterghem0:24:27 
32Royston Smith (Long Way Home)0:24:33 
33Martin Zepler (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:30:40 
34Michael Warwick0:34:44 
35Dominic Brown (Team Dibbley)  
36Howard Thomas  
37Nick Craig (Scott)  
38Carl Hutchings (SQUIRT)  
39Kevin Farmer (Racetimingsystems)  
40Derek the weather man'  
41Andy Roberts  
Mixed team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jay Horton & Maddie Horton (Team Certini)0:29:49 
2Michael Tomlinson & Fi Spotswood (South Fork Racing)0:00:53 
3Theresia Baumker & Werner Baumker (Team Charl '77)0:08:19 
4Christie Boucher & Charles Boucher (Boucher Luck)0:10:58 
5Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:11:17 
6Ian Coop & Carly Annable-coop (The Wombles)0:22:50 
7Ben Holgate & Jenni Lappalainer (Steel of the Andes)0:27:20 
Women's team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joy Bringer & Camilla Edlin (BAD by association)0:48:46 
Men's team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dan Lewis & Neil Richardson (Royal Air Force CA)0:29:07 
2Andy Jones & Ben Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)0:00:03 
3Brendan Kay & Simon Gough (ARMY CYCLING)0:03:25 
4Jonny Williams & James Holness (Beyond 925)0:05:41 
5Bjorn Suetens & Koen Dierckens (Los Pistoleros Flamencos)0:06:11 
6Robert Axe & Stacy Turner (Team TF Bundy)0:07:21 
7Tony Ireland & Phil Marland (Team Tredz)0:07:56 
8Eoin Fitzgerald & Chris O'Callaghan (Ballyhoura Boys)0:09:10 
9Will Cook & Steve Middleton (Bison Cycleworks)0:09:13 
10Brendan Stevens & Stephen Marks (Cornish Piskies)0:09:17 
11Sarel Hiemstra & Johan Nell (BatCat)0:10:38 
12Simon Whomsley & Neil Clarke (McRutters)0:10:51 
13Dan Durrant & Jake Morris (Dan+Jake)0:11:04 
14Anthony Morris & Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:11:22 
15Charlie Buckle & Dan Buckle (Buckle Brothers)0:11:47 
16Russ Walton & Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:11:58 
17Dan Hughes & William Packer0:14:22 
18Andrew Munro & Wesley Botha (Zulu)0:15:05 
19David Pearce & Gareth Joyce (Ride the Alps)0:16:26 
20Stuart Bridges & Simon Vining0:17:40 
Veteran teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fulvio Damian & Elvo Del Puppo (Ideal - ViviBike)0:30:15 
2David Rielly & Steve Partington (Isle of Man Fire Service)0:07:28 
3Mark Johnson & Ray Herring (bicyclemania old duffers)0:13:25 
4Graham Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:14:02 
5Mark Carter & Nick Johnson (Team Stupid)0:15:34 
General classification after day 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rickie Justine Cotter (Cytek)14:34:40 
2Marika Covre (Ideal - Vivibike)0:00:41 
3Amy O'Loughlin (Beyond 925)0:04:26 
4Amy Baron-Hall (trio25.blogspot.com)0:05:52 
5Maggie McPhillips (Stockport Clarion)0:07:56 
6Lowri Bunn (Lowri)0:08:22 
7Tatjana Troll0:12:09 
8Catherine West0:30:07 
9Sarah Haley  
Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jonathan Pugh (clee cycles KCNC high 5)14:25:56 
2Josh Ibbett (IronHorse-Extreme)0:02:24 
3Jon Bowie (Trismart)0:03:42 
4Gethin Howells (Swansea Wheelers)0:04:26 
5Andy Barnsley0:05:07 
6Mark McPhillips (Stockport Clarion)0:05:25 
7Graham Mcconaghy (army cycling union)0:05:27 
8James Sanford (BIKE RLC)0:05:29 
9Andrew Mitchell (Chester Tri)0:06:29 
10Rob Brown0:07:09 
11Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:08:34 
12Richard Morgan0:08:36 
13Matt Carr (Trek Bikes)0:08:44 
14Ben Washington (Gore Bike Wear)0:11:19 
15Ben Phillips0:09:49 
16James Dyson (PEDALSPORT CC)0:10:25 
17Neil Atkinson (Rideon/Buff)0:10:26 
18Matthew Smith (Valley-Boy)0:10:53 
19Robin Calverley (Royal Air Force)0:10:58 
20Lee Price0:11:08 
21Robert Finch (RAFCC)0:11:12 
22Rob Gates (Berks on Bikes)0:11:14 
23Damian Keefe (Team DK)0:11:23 
24Lee Bacco0:11:41 
25Michael Dahlhausen0:11:50 
26Will McCabe0:12:12 
27Matthew Wood (West Drayton MBC)0:12:56 
28Andy Beardsley (Oakes Surveys)0:13:51 
29Ricky Dickenson (Cytek)0:14:09 
30Wayne Harper0:14:45 
31Oliver Castle (Mao MTB)0:14:49 
32Rob Gray (Blue Ocean IQ)0:15:54 
33Richard Querelle0:16:17 
34David James (Anything 4 A Ride)0:17:01 
35Ben Amesbury (Clwydian)0:16:36 
36Jason Keith (nmbc / midaircrisis)0:17:39 
37Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:17:14 
38Phil Dowling (ride-bikes.com)0:17:48 
39Nickson Mwaura0:17:49 
40Paul Plowman (Anything 4 A Ride)0:18:12 
41Mark Gray (Knackered Knees)0:18:19 
42Noel Gonsalves0:19:16 
43Robert Jones (The long and the slow of it)0:21:55 
44Paul Clark (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)0:23:14 
45Anton Michel0:24:01 
46Ben Nathan (victoria inn)0:24:34 
47Rob Holbeche (No Friends No Gears)0:25:19 
48Rick Banks (methley massive minus 1)0:26:10 
49Marco kaiser (Team Rad'n Roll)0:38:51 
50Jay Elliott (Bikini Shack)0:37:11 
51Neil Walters0:36:51 
52Paul Latchem (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)0:37:23 
53Chris Carter (MERIDA)0:38:51 
54Neil Dobson (THRESHOLD)  
55Pascal Herrmann (Gore Bike Wear)  
Veteran men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steve Heading (White Racing UK)14:28:03 
2Gareth Bowyer (ffasiynau anabelle fashions)0:02:03 
3Jonathan Edwards0:02:10 
4Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:03:16 
5Andy Heading0:04:29 
6Gary Cousins (Phasenineclothing.co.uk)0:04:40 
7Graham Hughes0:05:40 
8Steve Whitehouse0:07:32 
9Tim Johnson0:08:24 
10Henry Harris (Gillingham Wheelers)0:08:39 
11Bryan Stadden0:09:15 
12Simon McAllister (Team Sinobill)0:09:20 
13Alex Spiteri-James0:09:53 
14Paul Clarke (Royal Navy & Royal Marines CA)0:10:12 
15Nick Beauchamp0:10:30 
16Adrian Rees (Solitary Refinement)0:11:00 
17Gary Hull (chicken legs)0:11:02 
18Steve Eastwood (Chester Tri)0:11:30 
19Ray Morriss (Mintcake MTB)0:11:53 
20Andy Hull0:12:53 
21Mario Manica (Carpentari)0:12:55 
22Steve Parsons (Beyond 925)0:13:23 
23Bill Neave (da me (da fatty))0:13:36 
24Duncan Mellish0:15:03 
25Tim Hazell0:15:59 
26Andy Crane0:18:20 
27Tom Dunn0:19:23 
28Gary Wright (NorPol)0:19:28 
29Martin Door0:21:39 
30Dave Mansell (Madmance)0:22:33 
31Stéphane Van Wonterghem0:24:27 
32Royston Smith (Long Way Home)0:24:51 
33Martin Zepler (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:31:30 
34Michael Warwick0:36:44 
35Dominic Brown (Team Dibbley)0:34:44 
36Howard Thomas0:36:44 
37Nick Craig (Scott)  
38Carl Hutchings (SQUIRT)  
39Kevin Farmer (Racetimingsystems)0:34:44 
40Derek the weather man'0:36:44 
41Andy Roberts0:34:44 
Mixed team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jay Horton & Maddie Horton (Team Certini)14:29:49 
2Michael Tomlinson & Fi Spotswood (South Fork Racing)0:00:53 
3Theresia Baumker & Werner Baumker (Team Charl '77)0:08:20 
4Christie Boucher & Charles Boucher (Boucher Luck)0:10:58 
5Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:11:17 
6Ian Coop & Carly Annable-coop (The Wombles)0:23:36 
7Ben Holgate & Jenni Lappalainer (Steel of the Andes)0:28:19 
Women's team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Joy Bringer & Camilla Edlin (BAD by association)14:49:18 
Men's team
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dan Lewis & Neil Richardson (Royal Air Force CA)14:29:07 
2Andy Jones & Ben Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)0:00:03 
3Brendan Kay & Simon Gough (ARMY CYCLING)0:03:25 
4Jonny Williams & James Holness (Beyond 925)0:05:41 
5Bjorn Suetens & Koen Dierckens (Los Pistoleros Flamencos)0:06:12 
6Robert Axe & Stacy Turner (Team TF Bundy)0:07:21 
7Tony Ireland & Phil Marland (Team Tredz)0:07:56 
8Eoin Fitzgerald & Chris O'Callaghan (Ballyhoura Boys)0:09:10 
9Will Cook & Steve Middleton (Bison Cycleworks)0:09:13 
10Brendan Stevens & Stephen Marks (Cornish Piskies)0:09:18 
11Sarel Hiemstra & Johan Nell (BatCat)0:10:38 
12Simon Whomsley & Neil Clarke (McRutters)0:10:52 
13Dan Durrant & Jake Morris (Dan+Jake)0:11:04 
14Anthony Morris & Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:11:23 
15Charlie Buckle & Dan Buckle (Buckle Brothers)0:11:47 
16Russ Walton & Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:11:59 
17Dan Hughes & William Packer0:14:22 
18Andrew Munro & Wesley Botha (Zulu)0:15:06 
19David Pearce & Gareth Joyce (Ride the Alps)0:16:26 
20Stuart Bridges & Simon Vining0:17:40 
Veteran teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fulvio Damian & Elvo Del Puppo (Ideal - ViviBike)14:30:14 
2David Rielly & Steve Partington (Isle of Man Fire Service)0:07:29 
3Mark Johnson & Ray Herring (bicyclemania old duffers)0:13:51 
4Graham Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:14:03 
5Mark Carter & Nick Johnson (Team Stupid)0:15:34 
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