Sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the Raiders riders for stage two, the longest day of the three held in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.
However, the 80.7km stage was spoiled by an issue with route signage, with some riders heading in the wrong direction.
As a result, with no accurate way of determining timings of the riders stage timings for Saturday’s stage will not be taken as part of the overall Raiders classification. We can only apologise for this and any impact it has had on riders’ weekends.
Though the competitive of part of the day might have been impacted, it did not prevent the riders enjoying the stunning views of the Biosphere and Galloway Forest Park, which was magnificent in the summer sunshine.
“It’s been beautiful, amazing,” said Sari Willems, who travelled to Raiders specially from the Netherlands with her friend Nienka de Gram. “We don’t have that many hills in the Netherlands, so it is hard for us to do them, but the scenery is very good. We were enjoying the the views we forgot we had to race a little bit because it’s like nothing we see normally!”
Though both are experienced road riders, Sari and Nienke are new to gravel and, after stage one were looking forward to the second day, however, it didn’t pan out as planned.
“We started today very motivated, but after 22km I got two flat tyres,” explained Sari. That’s something we couldn’t prepare for because we didn’t expect this many sharp rocks.
“The beginning was very nice, going uphill is very hard but very rewarding because when you look back you see the lochs. then after 40km I got my third flat tyre and Nieke said if we have another one we quite because we didn’t have any spare tubes. then five kilometres later she got one.”
Back at the event village, both women were impressed with the campsite and event village.
“All the participants are so cool,” said Sari. “We have tent neighbours who took very good care of us last night, we were late and they were waiting with a beer. It’s nice to have a small village you can sit down and relax and talk about the ride.”
Sari and Nieke are also looking forward to Sunday’s final stage. The Skerrow stage is the shortest of the three, the riders tackling 63.8km in a figure of eight north of Raiders’ hometown of Gatehouse of Fleet.