Looking for a mountain bike event to start training towards? Enjoy the thought of three days cross-country enduro in wild Wales? This year sees a new event for 2012, a follow-up to the infamous TransWales and Kona Mash-Up. It's the Ritchey TrailMasters, powered by Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport.
To be held on 17-19 August 2012, TrailMasters will be a three-day event filled with classic cross-country trails and challenging timed sections. It's open to solo riders and teams of three, so get a bunch of mates together and head to the heart of Wales for this enduro challenge.
More than 220km of riding will be covered, plus 7,000m of climbing and six stages. However, if the three days are too much or you don't have much time to spare, you can go along and take part in the day rider event (Saturday), enjoying the ride as well as the atmosphere.
TrailMasters is based in Llanwrtyd Wells, which has seen the birth of many world-renowned events (the Man versus Horse marathon, Real Ale Wobble and World Bog Snorkelling Champs, to name but a few). It was also the site of the first UK mountain bike centre, which was opened more than 25 years ago.
Timed sections will test your speed, stamina and technical skills
The course has been designed by John Lloyd, who has been doing endless amounts of riding and guiding in the area for the past 12 months while creating the route. He's planned the TrailMasters course to include the hidden gems the area has to offer.
The course combines linking stages (untimed long-distance rides) with special off-road time trials. The aim is to cater for those who want to see what the area can offer as a cycling destination while appealing to more competitive riders with the races.
Expect some challenging ups and downs in the linking stages, and some fast, flowing, fun-packed special stages that will test riders on technical skills as well as stamina and speed.
Linking stages won't be timed and will be combined with time trials
'Off the bike' time
The TrailMasters planners are going to be putting some extra attention on the ‘off bike time’. The event village in Llanwrtyd Wells will be open throughout the day and will have an extended program of fun rides, test courses, fun runs, kids activities and films – all to entertain the support crews and families who come along to enjoy the weekend! All these activities will be free of charge.
In the evenings there'll be a bar, music, films and technical seminars to cater for tired mountain bikers who've finished the day's riding. Again, all these activities will be part of the entry fee.
To find out more about TrailMasters and see who else has signed up for the event, click here.