The following morning the squad were up nice and early to get fuelled up for the day ahead. After yesterday's solid performance Trig was looking and feeling good for the day ahead. Although he had a good lead going into day 2, anything could happen on this next stage. The course would be 172 miles of long, winding roads with brutal hills. This, combined with weekend traffic in some areas would be extremely challenging for the athletes and the support teams would need to be on their A game to help navigate the course safely and successfully.
After a short briefing from the event's organisers the athletes were out on the road. UMUK Day 2 was underway.
In high spirits, myself, Matt and Lemmy headed out into the rolling welsh hills. The first part of the course was heading out of Betwys y Coed, along the route towards Lake Bala before heading off out towards the coast. From the outset, the course had some pretty brutal hills but Trig was keeping a good pace and things were going well.
As Trig battled with the hills, Matt, Lemmy and I were treated to some more exquisite views of the Snowdonia landscape. It wasn't yet 8am, but in an attempt to keep the vibes strong, Matt got his Brav endurance speedos on and we gave Trig a nice welcoming party at the top of one of the longer hill stretches, with a huge grin on his face Trig kept grinding away at this brutal course.
Grinding away at the pedals, Trig made it through the first quarter of the course without no problems at all. The course continued to serve up hill after, hill after hill but Trig was taking it all in his stride. Still leading from the first day's events it would be impossible to tell at this point how day 2 would turn out.
In what seemed like no time, we were out on the coast with some great views of the Llyn Peninsula. Looking out at beaches of Barmouth and Tywyn towards Harlech and Pwllheli. The route would then take us back inland and on towards Machynlleth and Dolgellau onto the second third of the route.
As we made it to closer to the halfway point, the competiton was about to heat up. We'd heard whispers that the guy in second place Matt Dykes' strongest discipline was the bike. Trig has been powering through the course like a trojan horse but then seemingly out of nowhere, Matt D was right on Trig's and tail and looking very strong.
The two lads were going at it for a few of miles, tail to tail with each other but then eventually Matt D took over and slipping into the lead. It's at this point where the support team needed to be on our A game and keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Trig still had a time advantage from the first day but now the race was now well and truly ON!.
Trig was battling hard as we got to the towns out towards the coast, and then back out into the countryside where the terrain would soon get steeper with hills in abundance. We would soon be into the second third of the course and Trig would need to dig deep to keep up the pace now that Matt D had slipped into the lead.
At this stage, we were on top of the game support wise. We made sure we had his food and drinks ready ahead of him so he could ride continuosly to try and close the gap between himself and Matt D.
Heading into the final stage of the race there were only two people in contention for the race that day, Matt D and Trig. We'd not seen any of the other competitors since the start line that morning. Matt D had gained a good lead at this point and to be fair to him he was a complete animal on the bike. But, Trig was still hot on his heels. this final stage of the cycle was where it really did turn into wacky races.
As we drove onwards Matt and I kept dreaming of the cold beers waiting back at the hotel at the end of the day but there was a still a long, long way to go and a series of funny now, but not so funny at the time events were about to unfold involving cows, the police as well as Matt and I completely losing Trig for a good 20 minutes!