Adventures in Stage Racing with Weir and Moeschler at Epic Cymru

21 August, 2015

Photo: Anthony Pease

Stage racing is not without certain challenges to both the bike and body, the rental car, and especially the poor soul(s) supporting the racers. Each time Moeschler and Weir go abroad, they run into them... challenges that is. Case in point... this last adventure to South Wales for the Epic Cymru (pronounced come-ree), a five-day stage race with no less than 50km of solid technical trail with 1,200-1,500 meters of climbing each day. Timed XC and downhill sections made up 40-50% of the riding, with the remainder being un-timed linking sections utilizing Bike Park Wales as well as Margam Park, Mt. Ash, and trails in the Afan Valley. 

Photo: Anthony Pease

Fresh off the Downieville Classic podium, Moeschler was ready for this one, as in the race. The Cannondale Habit he raced in Downieville was dialed. The only thing he changed from his Downieville set up was the back tire and rims, replacing them with a WTB Riddler 2.4 Light/Fast Rolling back tire (same as the front) and WTB Ci24 Carbon rims.... More about his bike set up here thanks to our friends at Singletrack.

As for the challenges, those were another story. You might have caught the posts on our Facebook page of the lost bikes on the airline, the flat on the rental car, chest colds and tons of stairs at the hotel. Good stuff.

Photo: Anthony Pease

When they did find their bikes, Weir's was damaged during a photo shoot the day before the race which put him out of the prologue, and out of the competition for all intensive purposes, but the set back didn't stop him from riding and enjoying the awesome experience that the race organizers and sponsors all made sure would be worth the trip over.

Photo: Anthony Pease

They did not disappoint nor did the tales of the pair's adventures that  ensued, ending with Moeschler claiming the podium in a castle, an awesome week of riding against some wicked-fast locals on their ripping home trails, an excellent bottle of scotch along with a bunch of new friends for Weir, and a little lesson about diesel vs. gasoline....

 

Photo: Anthony Pease

At this time, I invite you to grab another cup of coffee and settle in for Weir's account... If you have a hard time following, switch from coffee to scotch for an even more entertaining read. Just a suggestion as this was written late night, on day 4 after Jason lost the day but held onto the lead in the overall.  Mark begins his tale after the next photo of what appears to be their  rental van getting towed.

"You want the green pill or the black. Well in Wales, green is regular gas, we have a diesel that's black. Laugh as you will, I got it coming.... It was a long day and seems that lights in the gas station are not the most important. 23 liters later, we swallowed the green pill."

"Oh Martin, what a guy. With his rigs at the event, he borrowed his bird's car and picked us up. Oats in lap, he had a two-hour drive. He has store credit at my place. Thanks buddy."

"After I tried to look for a garden hose and a bucket, we noticed the locals are very proud, and not of us. We call a tow."

"Top of Mt. Ash with good people. This was another track that makes repetition feel like new every time. It was short grass and high speed cutties like nothing I've ridden since years ago in France. A real gift."

 

"Jason's lead is still over two minutes despite his teammate's poor pill choice. Chipps from Singletrack helped me get over it. Bottle in hand is better than two in the bush. I feel fine now." -Mark Weir

Thanks to the race organizers of the Epic Cymru for the invitation to this first-class stage race. It's one for the bucket list for anyone who enjoys racing world-class trail systems with world-class people. Good times!!

See for yourself... Checkout the video!

 

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