On August 14th, a field of 45 riders rolled out of Land’s End into a rugged course made even rougher by foggy and wet weather. In a sport usually dominated by men, we were pleased to see that nearly half of this field was women, which ended up being the more interesting shootout for this stage, as it turned out. Read on for photos, details, and finish times for the top six riders…
Stage 1 runs from Land’s End following a 635-kilometer route to the first checkpoint at Ysbyty Cynfyn in mid-Wales. This is one of the longest stages in the four stage, self-supported bikepacking race. The more impressive factor is its whopping 11,700m of climbing that takes in several requisite hike-a-bikes, including The Gap over the stage’s high pass.
There are still a few riders out there, with only one participant scratching so far. This was the GBduro’s youngest rider. 19-year-old George Bramwell made the call to finish his race after struggling with food. This was a smart move as he would likely have had issues if he tried to push on to CP1. As the event organizers stated, “Every cloud has a silver lining however. He was fundraising for Papyrus—a very worthy cause during the GBDURO21, raising at the time of writing, nearly £3000. Almost £1000 over his target.”
After 35 hours and 40 minutes of almost non-stop pedaling, 25-year-old Angus Young from Blandford Forum (shown above-right) crossed the finish line of the first stage of the 2021 GBduro with the nearest rider over 100km behind him. He was essentially in a class of his own not too long after leaving Land’s End. Although Angus averaged an impressive 17.7kph on the 635km stage, Lachlan Morton still retains the stage record at 32 hours 10 minutes from his ride in 2019, which puts things in perspective. Later that night, Mark Beaumont finished second with a time of 44 hours and 48 minutes.
As Angus made it to the finish, Philippa Battye had just crossed the highest point on the stage and Jaimi Wilson was close behind hiking up the pass. The two battled it out in a quest for third place and were barely separated for most of the day. However, in the thin hours of the night, Ollie Hayward charged past taking the third place spot. “It was nail biting stuff to see which of the leading women would be next,” added Chris Patalbo from the Racing Collective. In the end, 36-year-old Philippa Battye from London managed to wrestle free from Jaimi Wilson reaching the checkpoint shortly before her nemesis to finish in just over 50 hours. Lee Craigie took the third spot in the women’s category.
Top 6 Finishers of Stage 1
Here’s the table of times for the top six finishers for Stage 1. Stay tuned for Stage 2!
- 1st (Men’s) / 1st overall Angus Young (35h:40m)
- 2nd (Men’s) / 2nd overall Mark Beaumont (44h:48m)
- 3rd (Men’s) / 3rd overall Ollie Hayward (50h:7m)
- 1st (Women’s) / 4th overall Philippa Battye (51h:5m)
- 2nd (Women’s) / 5th overall Jaimi Wilson (51h:23m)
- 3rd (Women’s) / 6th overall Lee Craigie (54h:28m)
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