Black Mountains MBO Event 8 - Talybont Forest
Rocks up to Llangynidr Village Hall with Dawn with no expectations on how i’d do. Some big names in the event and I expected them all to be ahead of me: Mark Rowley, Harry Kingston, Mark Morgan, Ian Cartwright and possibly Nick Dallimore.
I started towards the back end of the starting window and looked at the taster map for about 10 minutes before starting. I hadn’t looked at it in detail beforehand but I knew the area pretty well from previous MBO, AR and running events.
I struggled to think of an optimum route when I got the map and I took longer than my normal 4 minute max limit. This turned out to be 7-8 mins!
I deliberately avoided having to go up Cwm Pyrgad so selected to go anti-clockwise.
It was a warm day which peaked at 21 deg C so there was plenty of sweat from the off.
S>15: Decided to get this 20 pointer on the way out to provide an easy run in at the end where I could rocket down the valley road and pick up the 10pointer. Passed Nick D on the ascent.
3>24: Long trudge up the bridleway through the fields. Always seems longer than the distance on the map. Got passed by Ian Cartwright on this leg.
24>4: OK. Big descent on road, through Talybont and start up the other side of the valley.
4>22: OK. Big climb up.
22>6: Hike a bike after the Clydach valley but was expecting that. Ran with the bike. Lots of gates entering back into Nantllannerch Farm. CP on obvious bend.
6>16: OK. Down to Aber. Up and across the the dam.
16>18: OK. Bumpy slog up Brinore Tramroad.
18>14: Was tempted to 'cheat' and take the footpath to the lower track but decided against it. Good thing I did as my win would have brought more scrutiny than normal! Mark Morgan and I struggled to find the CP. Lost 2 minutes here. He found it for us in the end.
14>5: OK. Pulled away from Mark M. This is when I knew I was onto a good day or he was having a bad day.
5>21: Over to Abercynafon and hiked up the byway to the gravel track in Talybont Forest to ride up to the peak and down to the CP.
21>12: Back and passed Mark M so knew I was putting time into him. Never been on the gravel track to the west end of Talybont Forest before.
12>20: Another first on a MTB. Ride along the Blaen y Glyn stream.
20>11: Decided to drop CP1 as it was only a 10 pointer and CP8 as was 15 pointer. Hike a bike up to Torpantau along the track. Then down Taff Trail. Lots of people walking on some charity walk.
11>25: Road ride along west side of Pentwyn Reservoir. OK.
25>9: Ride through Dolygaer and up to Bryniau Gleision. Quite technical in places.
9>19: Along track on Bryniau Gleision to gate at Pen Bwlch Glasgwm. Lots of sheep in the way!
19>7: Overshot the junction and lost 2 minutes.
7>10: Bit of a slog along the old tramroad to the quarry. Wet and slow.
10>23: Rocky, technical section along old narrow tramroad. Had to get off twice as too narrow to ride! Again decided to avoid taking an obvious hike a bike shortcut and stick to the permissive routes. Struggled to see the CP in the Cwar yr Hendre quarry for a while so lost 1 minute.
23>13: Fast descent from the quarry to the CP in Cwm Pyrgad.
13>17: Fast descent down bottom half of Cwm Pyrgad and along the road in Dyffryn Crawnon.
17>2: Caught Mark Morgan up here and passed him. OK
Felt strong throughout.
Finished first overall!
1. Gary Davies 475
2. Mark Rowley 446
3. Mark Morgan 444
4. Ian Cartwright 438
5. Nick Dallimore 434