With less than three months to go before the Merida Bikes TransWales '08 (16-23 August), entries have closed for the mountain bike stage challenge. But there are still possibilities to get in as a reserve, by filling out an entry form and sending it in with your payment. The organisers say they won't cash your cheque unless you get a place.
The Merida TransWales starts and finishes in Bulith Wells, South Wales, making an excursion into the Brechfa Forest. It consists of linking and special stages that can be entered by teams of two or by solo riders. The linking stages are between 40–80km and are designed to be ridden at a certain pace. Each team will be given a time limit that they have to reach. If they go faster, they risk wasting energy, but if they finish outside their limit, they are penalised in the following timed sections.
The special stages will be run as either relay (one rider starts the other one takes over half way) or pairs (both riders ride together for the whole length). In these, the key is to finish as fast as possible but they are optional for the participants. If a rider is not going for the 'crown’ they can simply sit out the special stages or just enjoy them as a fun-loaded singletrack fix without worrying about the time.