Rising star leads taster ride over part of route for October's event, UK's second sportive held on closed roads...

While Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas enjoys a fourth day at the top of the young rider’s classification in the Tour de France, another up and coming rider from Wales, Sam Harrison, is back home promoting the inaugural Etape Cymru, due to be held this October – and you can join the 19-year-old, who won the Omnium at this year’s UCI Track World Cup in Beijng, over part of the course this Friday.

The youngster from Newport will be leading a ride over the famous Horseshoe Pass, which reaches gradients of 20 per cent on its 6km climb, at 11.30am on Friday morning, with the meeting point set to be revealed on the Etape Cymru website later this week.

That won’t be the only climb featured on the itinerary of the 100-mile Etape Cymru come Sunday 9th October – others include The Shelf, The Garth and World’s End.

The Etape Cymru has received backing from Wrexham Council, Denbighshire Council, Welsh Assembly Government and North Wales Tourism to allow the ride to be held on closed roads amid spectacular Welsh scenery.

“The Horseshoe Pass is a really good and challenging climb in that part of Wales and I’m looking forward to riding it on Friday,” said Harrison. “If that climb is anything to go by, the Etape Cymru looks set to be a fantastic route with its closed roads.”

Organisers say that this Friday’s ride will provide “a fantastic chance” for anyone thinking about entering the event to get a taster of a key part of the route, as well as getting tips from a rider widely considered to be one of the biggest emerging talents in the sport in the UK.
Although it is held on closed roads and has the word 'Etape' in the title Etape Cymru organisers have asked us to make clear that the event is not linked to the Etape Caledonia - the UK's other closed road event which takes place in Scotland or the Irish, Etape Hibernia.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.