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Spotswood, Grosvenor tame downhill

"Today was a proper TransWales day," said the event's only singlespeeder and TransWales veteran Graham McConaghy (Army CC). And it was: after a few relatively mild days to warm the riders up, the TransWales truly got going as it headed into the proper big country. Along the way there'd be treacherous descents, tough climbs aplenty, and truly fickle mountain weather. Add the second special stage into the mix - a 7km downhill time trial on the final descent of the Climachx trail near Machynlleth - and the third day of the TransWales would be a true test of both body and mind.

It began at 9:00 am, when the riders left the overnight stop at Llandiloes Rugby Club under fair skies following from the overnight rains that persisted until the early hours of Tuesday morning. The tarmac provided easy going for the first clicks as the riders shadowed the course of the River Severn to its source at Hafren Forest. As they climbed the visibility gradually decreased as the low cloud bank inched ever closer. With the grey fog came the on-set of soul-sapping persistent drizzle that would shadow the riders through Hafren Forest, along the moorland trail of Glyndwr's Way and over Foel Fadian, the highest point of the stage at 564m. It was here that the riders met the double-edged sword of the steep, greasy and rock-slabbed monster of a descent; double-edged as it took no prisoners and left riders battered and bruised as it felled them one by one, but also because it led them down from the clouds and into the clear - and dry - skies below.

The second special stage took place on the Climachx trail final descent - a 7km long undulating serpentine piece of unforgiving trail. The top-most sections of the trail were the most technically demanding and so any rider with a design on the overall had to keep it together here in order to press home their advantage on the faster lower sections. At least, that was the theory: in practice, the high speeds and slippery rock sections meant that staying smooth and fast - and on two wheels - wasn't guaranteed.

"I was flying on the first half - I was right on my limit," said Rickie Cotter - the leader of the solo women's category from special stage one of her run on the Climachx trail. "But then I double punctured so I had to run down the fireroad. It's tough because today was my favourite trail, and so I'm really disappointed."

The double puncture meant that Cotter - the hot favourite for the win - slipped off the podium by more than three minutes behind the stage winner, an on-form Fi Spotswood. The result meant that Spotswood took the overall lead in the general classification too, with Cotter now having to make up a significant amount of time over the three remaining stages. A tough task, but given that Cotter is currently building up the 24-hour Solo World Championships in Australia, it's certainly not out of the question.

In the men's Solo category, Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear) had a stormer to take second place on the stage in a time of eight minutes and 54 seconds; however, his time wasn't quite good enough for the win which was claimed emphatically by Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti) by a clear 34 seconds.

Aussie Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting) took a massive tumble during the special stage after overcooking a rock slab launch - a crash which, although he recovered from and got back on the bike - cost him valuable time on the stage. The time lost was enough to see him lose his leader's jersey in the overall classification.

In his stead, Grosvenor took the lead by 55 seconds. Despite losing the top spot and his crash, Hawson - currently enjoying three months touring around Europe - was positive and elated after his ride, "I love racing trails like this unsighted - it's fantastic!"

Tomorrow, for day four, the riders will head south via Nant y Arian for the third special stage where the racing continues on the longest special stage - all 8.5km of it. The linking stage then continues onwards to the scenic Tyllwyd, near Cwmystwyth some 71km and 2495m of climbing - the most in a single day of the event so far - away from Machynlleth. It promises to be another tough but rewarding day.

Women solo
1Fiona Spotswood (For Goodness Shakes)0:10:17
2Hannah Thorne0:00:59
3Amanda Brooks0:01:24
4Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)0:03:57
5Annie Marson (Annie)0:04:51
6Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:05:07
7Camilla Edlin0:06:03
8Emma Johnstone0:06:17
9Claire Pinder0:06:24
10Joy Bringer (

Men solo
1Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)0:08:20
2Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:00:34
3James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:00:57
4Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)0:01:01
5Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:01:17
6Greig Walker0:01:23
7Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)
8Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:01:28
9Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:01:45
10Brian Kierwan (Iplod)0:01:56
11Richard Morgan (Bike4life)0:01:58
12Green Groenewald0:02:05
13Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:02:19
14Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:02:21
15Andrew Latham
16Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)0:02:22
17Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:02:38
18Russell Mawson0:02:41
19Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:02:43
20Johan Putter (Superiato)0:02:44
21Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:02:45
22Matthew Bertram0:02:48
23Lee Price0:02:52
24Paul Burton0:02:53
25Eddy Rossini0:02:59
26Rob Birmingham (
27Paul Clark (
28Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:03:09
29Mark Whelan0:03:12
30Charles Boucher0:03:24
31Dan Nisbet
32Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:03:30
33Marco Kaiser0:03:32
34Benjamin Smith0:03:35
35Christopher Snook0:03:38
36Alan Griffin
37David Hinks0:03:45
38Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:04:06
39Andrew Gardner0:04:08
40Daryn Thompson0:04:16
41Victor Potgieter0:04:27
42Joshua Brady0:04:30
43Richard Querelle0:04:35
44Paul Latchem (
45Alex Cameron0:05:05
46Matthew Breakwell0:05:15
47Myles Pawley0:05:17
48Johan Diamond0:05:29
49Bram Duin (CTWT)0:05:33
50Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:05:35
51Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:05:44
52Paul Crowley0:05:50
53Andrew Smith0:06:08
54Matthew Woodall0:07:03
55Mark Holroyd0:10:02
56Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)0:11:22
57Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:12:19

Veteran men solo
1Gary Bridgeman0:09:35
2Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:00:42
3Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:00:47
4Thomas Wilkens (
27Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:01:00
5Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:01:06
6Steve Whitehouse0:01:07
7Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)0:01:10
8Ray Blaber0:01:58
9Stephen Burke0:02:00
10Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:02:01
11Doug Little0:02:06
12Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)0:02:13
13Jason Stephens0:02:20
14Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:02:28
15Craig Murdoch0:02:34
16William Jones (Bilbo)0:02:45
17Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:03:16
18Adrian Brown0:03:18
19Chris Roberts0:03:26
20Henry Harris0:03:45
21Kevin Rolt0:03:58
22Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:04:05
23Erik Deferme (Warringa)0:04:57
24Johan Jansen0:05:49
25Tony Munoz0:05:58
26Steffan Van Molendorff0:08:07
26Laurence Moore (old fart)0:08:49

Men duo
1Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:09:06
2Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)0:00:01
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (
4Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:00:31
5Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:00:50
6Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:01:22
7Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)0:01:25
8Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)0:01:32
9Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:02:30
10Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)0:02:58
11Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:03:02
12Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)0:03:16
13Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam
14Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)0:04:24
15Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)0:09:31
16Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:10:04
17Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)0:12:12
19Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)0:18:00
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)

Women duo
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)0:12:02
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:00:47

Veteran men duo
1Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)0:12:06
2Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard0:02:50

Mixed duo
1Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)0:10:16
2Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:01:38
3Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:01:41
4Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:02:24
5Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:04:35
6Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:04:43
7Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:05:00

TransWales general classification after day three

Women solo
1Fiona Spotswood (For Goodness Shakes)18:42:44
2Hannah Thorne0:00:41
3Amanda Brooks0:01:33
4Rickie Justine Cotter (WXC)0:03:21
5Annie Marson (Annie)0:05:04
6Gill Crane (Clifton CC)0:05:52
7Camilla Edlin0:06:42
8Claire Pinder0:07:12
9Emma Johnstone0:07:36
10Joy Bringer (

Men solo
1Sean Grosvenor (Summit Cycles / Conti)18:39:57
2Ryan Hawson (Ayup Lighting)0:00:55
3James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:01:06
4Greig Walker0:01:25
5Alex Metcalfe (Gore Bike Wear)0:01:29
6Anthony Morris (Evans Cycles)0:01:32
7Graham Mcconaghy (Army Cycling Union)0:01:42
8Michael Mccutcheon (Mad MTB)0:01:48
9Edward Reynolds (Royal Air Force)0:02:03
10Richard Morgan (Bike4life)0:02:27
11Green Groenewald0:02:47
12Matthew Bertram0:02:53
13Stuart Reid (Tread of Heaven)
14Nickson Mwaura (JW Seagon - Team Gild)0:02:55
15Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:02:56
16Doug Inge (Team Dig It!)0:02:59
17Richard Edge (TreadHunters)0:03:04
18Neil Hardwood (Darwen MTB Club)0:03:10
19Russell Mawson0:03:12
20Eddy Rossini0:03:16
21Andrew Latham0:03:24
22Brian Kierwan (Iplod)
23Lee Price0:03:26
24Johan Putter (Superiato)0:03:35
25Matt Wood (West Dragon MBC)0:03:45
26Charles Boucher0:03:57
27Marco Kaiser0:03:58
28Mark Whelan0:04:00
29Paul Clark (
30Christopher Snook0:04:09
31Howard Stinton (Dan and Howard)0:04:22
32Dan Nisbet0:04:24
33Paul Burton0:04:27
34Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:04:35
35Andrew Gardner0:04:37
36Alan Griffin0:04:51
37Victor Potgieter0:04:56
38Rob Birmingham (
39Daryn Thompson0:05:08
40Richard Querelle0:05:12
41David Hinks0:05:25
42Joshua Brady0:05:36
43Alex Cameron0:06:01
44Benjamin Smith0:06:05
45Martin Macgregor (VC Lincoln)0:06:09
46Paul Crowley0:06:23
47Myles Pawley
48Paul Latchem (
49Matthew Breakwell0:06:36
50Matthew Cockerham (Chew)0:06:46
51Bram Duin (CTWT)0:07:18
52Andrew Smith0:07:28
53Johan Diamond0:07:45
54Matthew Woodall0:08:53
55Andy Cook (Gore Bike Wear)0:12:17
56Mark Holroyd0:12:25
57Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion)0:12:31

Veteran men solo
1Gary Bridgeman18:41:44
2Daryl Cavill (Tenby Aces Cycling Club)0:00:25
3Tony Higgins (Accordia Consulting Ltd)0:00:41
4Graham Hughes (Manx MTB)0:00:45
5Thomas Wilkens (
6Steve Whitehouse0:00:54
7Alan Parkinson (South Western (London) Road Club)0:01:00
8Graham Hughes (Corinium CC)0:01:39
9Ray Blaber0:01:47
10Hal Jubb (Oakuille Cycle Path)0:02:00
11Stephen Burke0:02:35
12Steven Marsh (Gordano Worrier)0:02:44
13Adrian Brown0:03:16
14Paul Markland (Evans Cycles)
15Doug Little0:03:19
16Craig Murdoch
17William Jones (Bilbo)
18Chris Roberts0:03:30
19Tim Hubert (jersey beans)0:03:34
20Henry Harris0:03:42
21Jason Stephens0:03:58
22Kevin Rolt0:04:42
23Enzo Rivella (Cicli Gorgio)0:05:09
24Erik Deferme (Warringa)0:05:21
25Johan Jansen0:06:10
26Tony Munoz0:07:22
26Laurence Moore (old fart)0:11:19
27Steffan Van Molendorff0:11:27

Men duo
1Neil Richardson & Dan Lewis (RAFCC)18:40:43
2Darren Koslicki & Adam Wroz (Team Unknown)0:00:09
3Gary Cousins & Andy Edwards (
4Philip Richmond & Nik Ringwood (Team Hayland)0:00:57
5Nicholas Jones & Ross Farley (M+D Cycles)0:01:11
6Rupert Denny & Shane Dickenson (Cytek)0:01:50
7Andrew Clark & Jonathan Hill (Ken & Jonny)0:02:06
8Rolf Woodward & Jeremy Woodward (Pukka Parts)0:02:42
9Andrew Heywood & Jon Stapley (Bat Fastard)0:03:13
10Steve Bone & Chris Smith (Fineworx)0:03:39
11Dick Smith & Joe Castle (Dick & Joe)0:03:51
12Hand Leen & Lawrence Spierings (BikeTeam
13Philip Mastro & Gareth Stewart (M & S Racing)0:05:10
14Graham Brown & Nathan Crabtree (Magic Knees)0:05:13
15Martin Zepler & John Moore (Fellowship of the Granny Ring)0:11:17
16Olivier De crem & Raf Van Overstraeten (V.S.B.)0:11:28
17Anders Schødt Jørgensen & Jeppe Thing (KiteDanmark)0:12:41
19Nathan Clarke & William Clarke (Singletrack Magazine)0:21:12
20Jonathan Tizzard & Jonathan Felton (Dumb and Dumber)0:21:25

Women duo
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Clifton CC)18:44:32
2Julie Neuhoff & Victoria Moorhouse (2 Non Blondes)0:01:18

Veteran men duo
1Mark Olivier & Andrew Donkin (Invalids)18:44:51
2Trevor Marshall & David Sheppard0:02:36

Mixed duo
1Elizabeth Docherty & James Docherty (Ohh!)18:42:33
2Claire Neuhoff & Simon Neuhoff (The Clantons)0:01:42
3Luc Selen & Wendy De Graaf (Double Dutch)0:02:04
4Rachael Stow & Andy Whitlum (Team WS)0:02:05
5Nikki Lane & Chris Watson (The old Goats)0:05:23
6Tony Stimpson & Sophie David (Specialicious)0:06:14
7Kimiko Holder & John Roberts (Red Dirt Rollers)0:06:34

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