Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team
Day 3 18/09/09 Machynlleth – Cwmystwyth
These early mornings are getting tiring. Breakfast of Noodles this morning, dodgy stomach again, must be nerves.
1st part of the stage was on the road out of Machynlleth, I left Paul and Dave at this stage as was just trying to go at a comfortable rate for my stomach then up onto some moors. Here we had our 1st proper river crossing, with everyone having to get off the bike and carry them 20ft across a river. It was rather cold and certainly woke you up. After this it was onto the 1st Water Stop and a ride on the road around a reservoir. This took us to the beginning of the 2nd Special Stage @ Nant Y Arian. I lined up on behind the start line ready for a swift off, I went what was probably a bit to fast and paid for it when the trail went upwards. Once at the top I took the guy who overtook me on the climb and flew down the rocky exposed section, the Epic really handling the course well. Then into the single track which I flew down, absolutely on the edge taking another 4 people. This was excellent and a complete contrast to how I was feeling on Mondays Special Stage. A few near misses and a lot of luck I got spat out onto the fire road at the bottom of the hill. Still thinking there was some more single track I took this climb easy, what a mistake! There was just the long slog of a fire road climb upto the finish, blast. I would of rode much quicker up there if I thought that was it. After I completed the stage I continued onto lunch at the trail head car park where Katie and Emma were waiting. Just as I finished my lunch Dave come flying up asking where the finish line was. I thought he was taking the mick, but turns out Dave had taken a wrong turn and had ended up off the course. His only real option to complete the stage was a half hour slog back up the hill to the finish. “See you later”.
The trail after lunch went up into a Wind Farm then off road down through a slurry field (lovely) inot a valley below. Then it started, the beginning of very steep and long road climb up out of the valley past the Vale of Rheidol Steam Railway ( to the top. This was hard, plus my stomach still wasn’t right. I slogged it on to the last water stop where I had a longer rest than usual. Paul caught me up here so I waited for him to have a quick rest. We then rode up into the forest and out into another windfarm. Who says these are a blight on the landscape, I think they look fine. After some high speed (35mph+) filming and messing around we arrive at the last river crossing of the day. Everyone else was walking it so we did, in hindsight it was rideable as you can see from the photos. 1 short sharp climb up the last hill and it was downhill all the way to the finish. The road was all broken up and there was only a smoove section of a about 2ft wide in the middle. It was like trying to ride northshore at 40mph. I could see the finish, so kept the speed up all the way just enough for Paul not to be able to get the stage! Dave arrived in about 40mins behind.

            This campsite was really out in the middle of no where and was very small. The girls had pitched the tent next to the start/finish so we were right in the middle of it all. Paul & Ems turn for dinner tonight. Few beers and off to bed early again.