The 2008 Merida Bikes TransWales

By Matt Skinner | Thursday, August 7, 2008 7.00am

The 2008 Merida TransWales takes place from Saturday 16th to Saturday 23rd August, returning to its birthplace for the second ever TransWales challenge.

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Taking its cues from the epic Trans-Alps and Trans-Rockies point-to-point races that cross the Alps and the Canadian Rockies, the Merida Bikes TransWales mixes seven (daily) non-competitive marathon linking stages - varying from 55km to 83km in distance - together with a selection of special stages on the cream of Wales' purpose built trails.

Cwmrhaedr, BrechfaForest, the Cli-Machx trail, and Nant yr Arian trail centres will all see riders tackling rally style time trials in pairs and in relay, both during the day and at night. All in all this uniquely epic challenge demands that the riders - split amongst six categories (the USE Solo, the High5 Mixed, the Ergon Veteran's, the Buff Female, or the Gore Bike Wear Male, and the Niner singlespeed categories) - complete a total of 344 miles of riding with 50,840 feet of climbing off-road in seven days.

The TransWales of 2006 was - on paper - tougher than the famous TransRockies. After up-rooting to Scotland for the 2007 TransScotland - an event that component guru Keith Bontrager said, "There was more good singletrack in this than in any other Trans race by far - maybe a factor of 10 or more. If you are fond of singletrack, as I am, that is a big deal" - the Trans-UK concept is back to Wales for another week of tough, inspiring riding.

We’ll be keeping you updated with daily reports from each stage of the TransWales challenge, but for more information go to the Trans UK website

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