From 100 miles to 100 kilometres

The West Wales 100 mile TT, 18th June, switched courses to east Wales, the Raglan – Hardwick – Monmouth Course.  Triathlete Ryan Evans, who had an entry for the event, decided against the dual carriageway course with a disappointing 25 entries and thunderstorms forecast in the area.

Fortunately, Ryan was offered a place on the Dragon Ride 100km course, the shorter of the options on the day. Ryan decided to use the event as a TT on his road bike and to prepare for race day nutrition and pacing for the longer triathlons in the coming months.

Leaving Margam Park just before 9am in the second phase of riders, the route headed for Port Talbot and up the Cwm Afon valley to Pontrhydyfen and the difficult climb over to Cimla.  At this point, as he rode through the earlier starters Ryan observed numerous entrants pushing their bike, they still had a way to go to the finish and would encounter some other stiff climbs.

After the quick descent through Cimla Ryan settled in a small group of 6 riders who all worked well together up the Neath valley picking off all the second phase riders and many of the first phase of starters who had started 10 minutes in front of them.

At the bottom of the old Glynneath Bank road Ryan began to pull away from the group, being familiar with “the Bank” and the Rhigos to come definitely helped his pacing as he picked of riders on his way to Treorci.

By the time he started the climb over the Bwlch Ryan realised there were not too many riders in front of him, so he settled into a good groove and picked off a few more riders before going over the top and the long descent back to Port Talbot.  A rider caught Ryan with 2 or 3 miles to go and he was so strong that Ryan could not hold his wheel and he drifted away.

Ryan crossed the line in a time of 3:37:20 which turned out to be the 3rd fastest time of the day.  While this was a sportif rather than a race, fireman Ryan was very happy with his efforts considering the nature of the course, he had given it “race effort” so it turned out to be a good training day.

Welcome Refreshments at the end of the tough 98 kilometer event.

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