The Virtual Winter Grand Tour continues this Saturday (28th November) with stage 3, a 53km circuit of the Wattopian Bigger Loop! The joy however, whatever the weather, this can be completed from the comforts of your own lounge, or the perspiring walls of your own personal pain cave!
The competition this far has been intense with over 300 Welsh Triathlon and Triathlon Scotland members racing the series. With categories split across power categories, as well as a competitive team competition, every participant has a part to play and features in the racing. If you have not entered yet, there is still a part to play, whether it's in the individual competition or contributing to your team score. There is plenty of racing to be had in the final seven stages. If you want to register for the series, please click here.
The results after stage 2 currently see three Welsh clubs sit on the podium, with Carmarthen Triathlon Club proving that West is Best, over their East Walian rivals NEWT and the 2019 Welsh Super Series club winner, GOG Tri. Perth Tri club is the only Triathlon Scotland club team in the top 10 at present, but this is only for their scores after round 2.
Within the individual categories, Emily Marchant of Swansea Vale Tri sits at the top of category B at present, with the tri of Mared Dafydd (GOG), Rebecca Comins (Swifters) and Ember Leigh Ellis (Aurora Triathlon) close behind.
Within category C, Ashley Jolly of Perth Tri club sits on the top step at the moment having taken part in both races. Natalie Richards and Rosie Davies (both Cardiff Triathletes), as well as Frances Butler (Newton Stewart), are the closest competitors to have completed both stages so far, with Lindsey Jones (C-Triers) Mel Best (Bynea) featuring strongly also in their individual stages.
It is almost an exclusive Welsh affair within D category, with Jennifer Kettle of Perth triathlon club the only Scottish representative thus far. Results-wise, Helen Colley and Gail Osborne (both Taff Ely) share top spot having completed both previous races, with GOG’s Paula Dawson and featuring strongly in her only outing, and teammate Geri Angharad Evans only sitting one point behind the leaders.
The competitive spirit is no different across the male categories. A Category sees Sion Kelly Williams of GOG sit top of those who have completed two stages, with Matt Blue and Osian Williams (both Carmarthen Tri) following closely. Luke Sullivan of NEWT has also impressed in his only outing thus far. East Lothian’s Jamie Addie is the highest placed Scot, sitting fifth of those to have completed both stages.
Scotland does however sit top in the Male category B competition, with Strathclyde University’s Stephen Connolly sitting top from those completing two events. Jon Carrick (Celtic Tri) and Wil James (#trilloydy) are the closest of those who have done all races so far, with impressive riding also shown by Jack Peasgood (TriScotland) and Mike Kipling (Cardiff Triathletes).
Category C is fronted by White Rocks Mike Bessell with Swansea Vale’s Markus Pieterse sitting second with Cardiff’s Rick Ellis in third, and the Male category D frontrunners are Tom Wills from White Rock, Darren Gilbert of #trilloydy and Dan Gosnold with all three having completed both opening races.
As the series continues, there will undoubtedly be plenty a change over across all leader boards, and what better to throw a cat amongst the pigeons than a rolling climb up the epic KoM. This week’s stage 3 race on Wattopia’s Bigger Loop essentially consists of 15km of flat racing, followed by 30km of climbing or ascending up the epic KoM, ending with 10km of flat for the final sprints. When to attack…that is for you to decide but be sure to keep enough in the tank to cross the finish.
Full Individual Competition Results after stage 2 can be found here.
Full Team Competition Results after stage 2 can be found here.
To register for the remaining stages, please click here