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Page wins special stage and extends lead

The fourth day of the TransWales rolled out of Llandiloes at 9:00 am under promising skies as yesterday's rains receded into memory. The riders warmed their weary legs up on the Tarmac before hitting the dirt to follow the River Severn towards its source in Hafren Forest. After navigating the Cadbury Flake like folds of the forest the riders left the wooded darkness behind to climb 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.

Riders then headed to the highest point of the day - Foel Fadian at 564m - before plunging downwards into the Dovey Valley over a tricky wet rock slab that claimed more than a few victims. Both steep and slippery, it was an intimidating drop over the summit and straight into its merciless maw. Many chose to dismount and walk, leaving only the foolhardy and the skillful to tackle it head on. The smoothest and fastest rider down was Hannah Thorne, currently placed second in the solo women's category. Her form was outstanding and boded well for her attack on the downhill special stage on the Climachx trail at the end of the day.

After the lunch stop the trail hooked up into the woods that hide the infamous - and oft overlooked - Climachx trail. The riders climbed and careered deeper into the wood's depth depths, getting into the swooping singletrack groove before they arrived at the crunch point of the day: the downhill special stage. With so many categories still running so close, today's special stage was the opportunity for the gravity gifted to nose ahead of their rivals in the overall classification.

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 the first third seeing a tricky rocky section which only the smoothest conquer, whilst others opt to run. The trail then careers faster and faster along sumptuous singletrack until the bermalicious crescendo.

After the rotor pinging finish to the special stage, the riders warmed down with a black top spin to the day's end at Machynlleth. The town itslef itself, once the capital of Wales, is the British capital of alternative technology. More importantly, it isn't short of a few pubs either which the riders made full use of to calm nerves and soothe legs before the fifth linking stage on Thursday morning.

After the dust settled from the days racing, Matt Page (Wiggle) had extended his lead in the men's solo category with an emphatic win on the Climachx trail, clocking the day's best time of eight minutes and 26 seconds, eight seconds faster than second placed James Davies (Brooks Cycles) - who makes his first podium of the event. Nepal's Ajay Chhetri (Torq) crossed the line 44 seconds down in seventh - his lowest placing of the event so far.

This has meant that the overall standings have changed, with Page extending his lead to 58 seconds over the new second placed Davies, with Chhetri nipping at his heels just two seconds back. With the Leg Burner climb on the menu for tomorrow's special stage at Nant-y-Arian its conceivable that Chhetri can make back a chunk of time as he's shown his climbing prowess is significantly stronger than Page's.

In the men's solo category, a New Zealander Hannah Thorne lived up to the promise that her form prophecised on the Foel Fadian slab descent by smashing the Climachx trail to win by a clear 21 seconds ahead of Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1). Unfortunately for Natasha Berry (BikeLux/Progression), she finished almost a minute behind Spotswood, a result that sees her drifting out of contention for the overall two minutes and 23 seconds down on the new category leader Hannah Thorne, with Spotswood also displaced into second.

Elsewhere, the women's duo category saw Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle) finally make the top step in the special stage in a emphatic style by storming home in a time of 11:11, a minute faster than second placed Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team Number 28).

In the solo veteran men's category, Gary Cousins ( came back from a high speed crash on the linking stage that left him battered and bruised with a destroyed helmet, to take third place on the special stage, 20 seconds behind second placed Andy Roberts, and 40 seconds behind the stage winner Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC). Jones won in 8:56 - a margin which helped him extend his lead in the overall by a minute over Roberts, who moves up into second, with Cousins dropping back to third.

Tomorrow's fifth linking stage will take the riders from Machynlleth to Cymystwyth some 75km and 2400m of climbing away. Along the way, the riders will tackle the fourth special stage - another trail centre loop time trial - on the fine Nant-y-Arian trails. With the Leg Burner climb in the mix and a lot of descending it should be a level playing field for both climbers and downhillers alike; the racing should be close but whoever edges ahead here may well claw themselves a small yet significant advantage with just two special stages remaining. With all to play for in many of the categories, it's certainly not over 'til the fat lady sings, although there's a chance she may well begin her vocal exercises tomorrow.

Full Results

Solo women special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Thorne0:09:29
2Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1)0:00:20
3Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression)0:02:19
4Saskia Hart0:02:56
5Anna Buckingham (the big adventure store)0:04:04
6Angela Burt (Team Anjill)0:04:10
7Abigail Armstrong (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:05:31
8Rachel Henderson (Edinburgh RC)0:06:08
9Grace Leung0:15:25

Solo men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Page (Wiggle)0:08:26
2James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:00:09
3Simon Hawken (Army Cycling Union/Primal Europe)0:00:26
4Ryan Machin (Leisure Lakes Cheltenham)0:00:35
5David Ian Price (Drover Cycles)0:00:37
6Matt Williams0:00:39
7Ajay Chhatri (Torq Team)0:00:44
8Rob Brown0:01:23
9Gary Lake (Cyclist No 1)0:01:26
10Marc Sharman0:01:27
11Alex Forester0:01:37
12Rob Thomas (Gore Bike Wear)0:01:47
13Richard Morgan (The 6th time)0:01:48
14David Langridge (Stockport Clarion)0:02:02
15Philip Mastro0:02:08
16Lee Monks (Pearce Cycles)0:02:13
17Nicholas Jones (Myeloma / M&D Cycles)0:02:15
18Rob Brickley (Clee Cycles/KCNC)0:02:17
19Jon Stapley0:02:18
20Richard Edge (Tread Hunters)0:02:23
21Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:02:24
22Paul Burton0:02:25
23Adam French0:02:27
24Scott Cornish0:02:42
25Russell Mawson0:02:49
26Ewan Main0:03:15
27Jonathan Harris0:03:18
28James Parker0:03:37
29Michel Anton0:03:43
30Steve Bone (Phase 9)0:03:47
31Ultann George0:03:47
32Richard Querelle0:04:02
33Chris Howard (
34Florian Tauser0:05:36
35Ivan Rawlinson0:05:52
36Damian King0:06:42
37John Chell (Welland Valley CC)0:07:41
38Aaron Riley0:07:52
39Simon Burgess (Severn Road Club)0:16:28
40Jui-Lin (Mickey) Fan
41James Crask (V02)
42Jonathan Bowl
43Karl Dobson
44Robin Thomas
45Jon Parker (MTB Pigs)
46Justin Coward
47Matthew Wyatt
48David Barnes (Bad Boy Barno)

Solo veteran men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)0:08:56
2Andy Roberts0:00:26
3Gary Cousins (
4Ian Musgrove (Ians Cycle Centre)0:01:01
5Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC)0:01:05
6Andy Wilson (For Goodness Shakes)0:01:07
7Andy Crane0:01:50
8John Mcgillivray (brelades vets)0:01:58
9Steve Whitehouse (One And All)0:02:09
10Colin Bound0:02:19
11Chris Watson (Manx Mountainbike Club)0:02:23
12Stephen Wood0:02:26
13Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:02:44
14Nigel Rees0:02:59
15Nigel Thomas (TREDZ)0:03:11
16Mike Take (Team Tredz)0:03:24
17Mark Plant0:03:37
18Paul Whitaker0:03:40
19Andy Wright0:04:05
20Adrian Peters0:04:13
21David Steele (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:04:14
22Roman Petr0:04:23
23Paul Steiger0:04:37
24Adrian Normanton0:05:19
25Melvin Waters0:11:57
26Dave Ross (Trailbadger)0:13:58
27Ioan Morris0:15:58
28Peter Norman
29Ian Hirst (St Ives CC / Plastributon / Techniflo / Grafham Cycles)
30James Pope
31Tony Higgins
32Stephen Graves
33Peter Price
34Andrew Stewart

Duo men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC)0:09:22
2Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger)0:00:11
3Ben Warrick & David Evans0:00:39
4Daniel Liddle & Jason Aspden (mucky melyd)0:00:55
5David Askin & David O'brien (Rally da Digger)0:01:00
6Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto - Chaos)0:01:28
7David Tortoishell & Stuart Crighton (Army Cycling Union)0:01:50
8Dean Camier & Tim Hughes (Kings of Lemon)0:01:56
9David Cooper & Chris Murray (Norfolk In Chance)0:02:13
10Fernando Mainar & Sergio Leal (Dekora Team)0:02:39

Duo women special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle)0:11:11
2Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team number 28 (better name to follow!))0:01:09
3Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall0:01:15
4Nell Hall & Rachael Harrison0:02:55

Duo veteran men special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL)0:12:00
2Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White spirit)0:04:34

Duo mixed special stage results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association)0:11:41
2John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates)0:01:37
3Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe)0:01:40

Solo women general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hannah Thorne27:20:27
2Fiona Spotswood (Cyclist No 1)0:00:09
3Natasha Barry (BikeLux/Progression)0:02:23
4Anna Buckingham (the big adventure store)0:06:44
5Saskia Hart0:06:55
6Abigail Armstrong (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:09:42
7Angela Burt (Team Anjill)0:12:39
8Rachel Henderson (Edinburgh RC)0:17:41
9Grace Leung0:31:00

Solo men general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Page (Wiggle)27:17:01
2James Davies (Brooks Cycles)0:00:58
3Ajay Chhatri (Torq Team)0:01:00
4Matt Williams0:01:04
5David Ian Price (Drover Cycles)0:01:16
6Simon Hawken (Army Cycling Union/Primal Europe)0:01:30
7Rob Brown0:02:35
8Ryan Machin (Leisure Lakes Cheltenham)0:02:58
9Rob Thomas (Gore Bike Wear)0:03:28
10Scott Cornish0:03:32
11Jonathan Harris0:03:34
12Adam French0:03:44
13Richard Edge (Tread Hunters)0:03:59
14Marc Sharman0:04:10
15Richard Morgan (The 6th time)0:04:11
16Gary Lake (Cyclist No 1)0:04:15
17Rob Brickley (Clee Cycles/KCNC)0:04:18
18Lee Monks (Pearce Cycles)0:04:21
19David Langridge (Stockport Clarion)0:04:24
20Philip Mastro0:04:45
21Alex Forester0:05:07
22James Parker0:05:29
23Nicholas Jones (Myeloma / M&D Cycles)0:05:50
24Jon Stapley0:05:52
25Russell Mawson0:06:09
26Paul Burton0:06:17
27Graeme Spreadbury (Anything 4 A Ride)0:06:18
28Steve Bone (Phase 9)0:06:28
29Richard Querelle0:07:34
30Ultann George0:08:26
31Florian Tauser0:09:11
32Ewan Main0:09:40
33Michel Anton0:09:43
34Chris Howard (
35Ivan Rawlinson0:11:30
36Aaron Riley0:13:34
37John Chell (Welland Valley CC)0:14:25
38Damian King0:15:40
39Simon Burgess (Severn Road Club)0:16:55
40Jui-Lin (Mickey) Fan0:18:08
41James Crask (V02)0:18:39
42Jonathan Bowl0:20:00
43Karl Dobson0:20:36
44Robin Thomas0:20:45
45Jon Parker (MTB Pigs)0:22:26
46Justin Coward0:24:38
47Matthew Wyatt0:25:15
48David Barnes (Bad Boy Barno)0:25:20

Solo veteran men general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andy Jones (Clee Cycles KCNC)27:18:17
2Andy Roberts0:00:54
3Gary Cousins (
4Paul Whittaker (Stockport Clarion CC)0:01:26
5Ian Musgrove (Ians Cycle Centre)0:02:19
6Andy Wilson (For Goodness Shakes)0:02:36
7Steve Whitehouse (One And All)0:04:03
8Chris Watson (Manx Mountainbike Club)0:04:40
9John Mcgillivray (brelades vets)0:04:50
10Andy Crane0:04:56
11Stephen Wood0:05:43
12Nigel Thomas (TREDZ)0:05:56
13Stuart Bruce (Cotswold Outdoor)0:06:58
14Roman Petr0:07:07
15Colin Bound0:07:21
16Andy Wright0:07:23
17Mike Take (Team Tredz)0:07:29
18Mark Plant0:08:03
19David Steele (Tommy Cooper Fan Club)0:08:23
20Nigel Rees0:08:28
21Paul Whitaker0:10:33
22Paul Steiger0:11:13
23Adrian Normanton0:16:02
24Adrian Peters0:17:11
25Tony Higgins0:17:14
26Dave Ross (Trailbadger)0:17:51
27Andrew Stewart0:18:46
28James Pope0:19:48
29Ian Hirst (St Ives CC / Plastributon / Techniflo / Grafham Cycles)0:20:33
30Melvin Waters0:20:58
31Peter Price0:21:33
32Ioan Morris0:22:06
33Stephen Graves0:41:12
34Peter Norman0:43:06

Duo men general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Harrison & Robin Calverley (RAF CC)27:19:28
2Mark Wright & Enda Reynolds (Team Trailbadger)0:00:31
3David Askin & David O'brien (Rally da Digger)0:01:53
4Daniel Liddle & Jason Aspden (mucky melyd)0:02:24
5Peter Tachelet & Stijn Tachelet (Bronto - Chaos)0:03:38
6David Tortoishell & Stuart Crighton (Army Cycling Union)0:03:41
7Dean Camier & Tim Hughes (Kings of Lemon)0:04:33
8David Cooper & Chris Murray (Norfolk In Chance)0:06:41
9Fernando Mainar & Sergio Leal (Dekora Team)0:11:07
10Ben Warrick & David Evans0:22:50

Duo women general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steph Fountain & Lisa Bolton (Saddle Skedaddle)27:24:06
2Elizabeth Adams & Rosemary Byde (Team number 28 (better name to follow!))0:00:21
3Kelly Clark & Cath Hempsall0:03:58
4Nell Hall & Rachael Harrison0:09:22

Veteran duo men general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Dave Sheppard & Trevor Marshall (MAMIL)27:23:53
2Ben Barden & Chris Putnam (White spirit)0:06:59

Mixed duo general classification after day 4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katie Vaughan & Andrew Heywood (Motor Neurone Disease Association)27:23:32
2John Drummond & Catherine Drummond (Align Pilates)0:02:36
3Johanita Swanepoel & Pierre Cloete (Cameltoe)0:05:34

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