Wiggle Etape Cymru filling up as Giant and Mavic come on board

Bike checks and mechanical assistance from Giant plus Mavic neutral service will add to event experience

by Dave Atkinson   March 23, 2013  

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The Wiggle Etape Cymru is gearing up for its third year and they've brought in a couple of big sponsors to help make it a special event for 2013. The inagural event in 2011 was marred by organisational difficulties, but after Human Race took over the running of the sportive in 2012 things were definitely on the up, with last year's event proving a hit for the field of 1,200.

Anyway, it's back for 2013, and things are looking good again. Entries to the event, which takes place on closed roads on Sunday 8 September, are more than double where they were last year, after 98% of participants last year rated the event as either 'Good' or 'Excellent'. So far 1,000 riders have signed up for the 92-mile ride, which takes in some spectacular scenery as it tackles some of the hardest road climbs in the Clwydian range: Panorama, The Shelf, World’s End and the iconic Horseshoe Pass.

The event is one of just a handful in the UK to offer closed roads. So long as you maintain an average speed of 13mph (including stops) the roads will remain closed for your ride. If you fall behind that you'll still be able to complete the ride but you'll have to watch out for the traffic. This is rural Wales though; it's not like you'll be having vans whizzing past your ear every couple of seconds.

The latest big names to lend their support to the ride are Giant and Mavic. Giant are providing bike checks and mechanical support at the event HQ, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse in Wrexham. Mavic will be offering neutral support; there's nothing like getting passed by a yellow moto with a rack of wheels on the rear to make you feel like you're on a proper ride.

Olympic medallist and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas is the event ambassador. “My home country makes me feel so lucky to be a cyclist. North Wales, in particular, is a really special area with quiet roads, tough climbs and the reward of spectacular panoramic views," he said. "At nearly 100 miles, the Wiggle Etape Cymru is a grueling sportive but everyone taking part will be rewarded with a fantastic day in the saddle on stunning roads.”

Entry to the event costs £59. For more info head to www.etape-cymru.co.uk

10 user comments

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Entry to the event costs £59 - or £20 for club fees and 52 sportives a year. You do the math!

posted by Dropped [32 posts]
23rd March 2013 - 22:27

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Do tell me the name of the club which runs 52 sportives per year on closed roads for £20, because I'd be interested in joining.

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posted by Gasman Jim [50 posts]
23rd March 2013 - 22:44

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I'm doing this, £59 for closed roads seems fairly reasonable! And I'd be pretty interested in 52 sportives on closed roads for £20 myself too!

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
23rd March 2013 - 23:06

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You could properly do it for 20£ if you don't mind going in circles. 59£ doesn't sound to back compared to other sport events.

posted by Jakal79 [50 posts]
24th March 2013 - 0:50

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I did it last year and it was excellent. Very well organised. If you're going in the car leave plenty of time to get parked up in the race course car park as there was quite a queue at 06:30hrs on the entry road from Bangor on Dee and I nearly missed my 07:00 start.

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posted by Gasman Jim [50 posts]
24th March 2013 - 8:33

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I paid the £55 entry fee last year just to have the chance to ride a closed road sportive. While the experience was excellent and the organisation second to none, the £59 price tag is too much. Even with Mavic and Giant on board I'm not sold. I wonder what they'll put the price up to next year? Thinking

posted by stevebull-01 [60 posts]
24th March 2013 - 8:50

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There will be plenty of pretend racers willling to pay the price, and with service motos and cars they can imagine it's actually a race. The market is there are professional organisers are simply supplying a product which meets a demand. 1,200 at £59 (£70,800) sees to a fair bit of raod closure, plus there is doubtless some sponsor money, so a decent earner, and why not?

Doc

posted by doc [167 posts]
24th March 2013 - 10:51

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Try the tour of flanders sportive ... much much cheaper .. pretty much closed roads with the odd cycle lane and watch the pro's do it the next day. The money you save on entry you can put towards the ferry or eurotunnel. Entry on day & lots of support on the iconic climbs from spectators ...

The organisation of the big continental sportives like the Tour of Flanders and Maratona put the British ones to shame really ...

posted by Monsieur Velo [18 posts]
24th March 2013 - 19:38

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It's closed roads, but a car still ended up on the course last year. The rider who hit it was very seriously injured, life changing according to the police report. Organisers haven't mentioned anything about how that happened or what they're doing to prevent anything similar happening in the future. It wasn't the organiser's fault, it was the best organised sportive I've seen, but it would be good to acknowledge the accident and state what had been learned from it.

I'm so lazy I'd rather order something off Wiggle than go to the shops for Haribo...

posted by Mr Jono [90 posts]
25th March 2013 - 14:11

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Was down for this event, the attraction being the closed roads, however I was unable to make the registration which is held the day before, which I was only made aware of three weeks prior. Pretty poor for people like me who could only make it to Llangollen for the Sunday. Why they couldn't post numbers or register on the day is beyond me! Its seems an incredible amount of fuss for an 80 mile bike ride. I won't be bothering with these events again. I think I'll just go out my front door and ride 80 miles and put up with the cars! Humph!!!

posted by adeasp [1 posts]
7th September 2013 - 14:21

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