22 Aug 2008

Friday Day 6

Friday afternoon update.

After what as another rainy night, everyone awoke to a clear blue sky and the horizon could be seen for once. Again all RAF riders were fit and ready to go after a reasonable nights sleep and a fairly decent breakfast of bacon, beans and porridge (not all at once)!
Post race brief, all riders headed off on a small 5km ride to the start of another special stage, this time at Nant yr Arian. A small rain shower accompanied the riders as they set off at timed intervals, but the sky soon cleared again. All riders zoomed along the 15km course enjoying the wonderous man made trail. Dan completed his run in his usual form but it was Sam who went all out and overtook Gav on this stage. Despite puffing like a steam train Sam finished some time ahead of Gav and is highly pleased with his performance. However, Gav is said to have been suffering from a slight chest cold since before the entire event started. Sam was still beaming from this as he slurped on a well earned Cappucino in the trail centre cafe. Rob suffered from a puncture but a quick tube change is thought not to have delayed him too long. Both the Army and Navy completed the special staage in respectable times (no times published as yet, 1500hrs). The support crew broke camp and moved in to the next camp site at Strata Florida (a paddock in the middle of nowhere which can barely fit all the vehicles and tents in).

The weather now is blowy but mild and we are expecting the first riders in very soon. No dramas have been reported so far.

Even Murphy had to be protected from the bright thing in the sky


Thursday morning

Another wet night, another wet morning, this time the showers are sporadic but still very heavy. Weary faces filled the marquee as all riders took in details if todays stage. All riders were to take a leisurely ride to the trailhead of the Climachx trail. The start (for solo riders) and finish line was in a rocky void area just up from the car park. Once riders had been set off, the weather eased up and blue clouds could be seen in the sky!

No results from this special stage are available as yet but all RAF, Army and Navy riders made the run and most enjoyed it, although one or two had punctures on the slippery sharp Welsh slate that is known to most as The shute. Although it was close to lunchtime, the riders had to carry on to another spot to get their midday feed.

The support team moved on to the new camp site at Ponterwyd. Here started fun and games - the main route up to the camp site was apparently blocked, so a detour was made, only to find that access to the farmers field was a no go for van sized vehicles and bigger (on this road) as the turn was too sharp. The only way in was the original way in and to add to that, all non 4X4 vehicles had to be towed in and out by a tractor, the muddy entrance was that bad. Fortuntely enough, we found an alternative and started to setup the popup shelter, just as Dan Lewis arrived.
All the military riders arrived in safe and well and the bikes all saw a quick wash and lube. The bikes were pretty clean after todays harsh conditions all due to a river crossing close to the camp site. The river was around 4 feet deep and verfy fast flowing, quite a feat to actually cross without going under - quite a memorable part of the day. The weather has eased somewhat and their is some brightness shining down on us.

The evenings esentation of todays special stage revealed that the Army pair of Coops / Rick came second in their category - congrats to them.

Results from todays special stage are as follows:

10th Dan Lewis
24th Irish (ACU)
42nd Gav Brown
45th Sam Bennett
62nd Rob Calverley

Overall positions for solo riders:

7th Dan Lewis 31 53 42
20th Irish 32 02 51
37th Gav Brown 32 14 00
39th Sam Bennett 32 14 34
59th Rob Calverly 32 26 30

From Wednesday evening

Wednesday evening and people are now feeling a little subdued. All the bikes have been cleaned and prepped ready for the morning.
Shortly all riders and support crew will head into town for a well deserved evening meal, apparently their is an award winning fish and chip shop!

Thursday morning sees the riders take on another timed special stage on the Climachx trail. As RAF riders are solo-ists, they have to ride up to the top of the trail and all the way back down again (timed), whereas team riders do a relay. After this the riders get a short rest period before continuing on in the linking stages.
The weather is supposed to be light showers, as yet each 'shower' has been a deluge!

Latest update (Friday)

Hi everyone, apologies for the lack of entries to the blog - connection has been non existent and Sam was VERY fortunate to get the latest results added yesterday.

We have written some comments down as a diary and will add them shortly as well as amending previous entries..