In the morning briefing they told us the stage was to be 56km long with a time limit of 5 hours. We set off at 9am and it was raining from the word go and just seemed to get heavier and heavier as time went on. I reached the water stop which was at about 30km with loads of time to spare and was expecting to be back well before 2pm. Seeing as they were doing lunch at the camp there was only one water stop. Then it just more and more technical in Brechfa fporest. With massive berms that scared me a lot! Some rock steps, that some people walked but I found fine. Shows I need to learn to ride twisty singletrack!!! Once 56km ticked by I was beginning to wonder where the camp was. Since my GPS usually undermeasures in woods I knew I had done the distance. In the end I made it in at 2:10pm, just ten minutes outside the cutoff and the stage had been 67km! They actually abolished the cutoff due to it being longer and the weather being bad, but I'm not sure that is fair as a lot of us were working to get as close to the cutoff as possible.
Once I was back Ali kindly washed my bike again, queuing in the rain while I had the worse shower of my life, it was freezing and just ran down the wall, and I cut my finger trying to keep it on. Not fun at all! The field was on a nice slope so Ali had done her best but it wasn't ideal after such a hard day in the saddle.
The weather seemed to get worse and worse and loads of people decided not to ride the evening stage. I dragged myself out and found riding up the fireroad to the start hard work, but once I was on the course I loved it. It was swoopy and fun I felt I could push without being too worried about coming off. Once I was back we had dinner and went to bed as they didn't seem to be doing the presentation.
Time for this stage was 26:21 and I was 3rd in my category, and it moved me up to 3rd in the GC.