Next year’s Wiggle Etape Cymru, and event previously billed as “the UK’s toughest closed road sportive,” will now be held on open roads. The move has been welcomed by a local councillor who has campaigned against road closures for the event, claiming that local residents were “trapped in their homes.”
Organisers Human Race have confirmed that no road closures will be in force when the event, which will start and finish at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse and is likely to include the Horseshoe Pass, takes place on a date yet to be confirmed, reports News North Wales.
Councillor Paul Pemberton, who has fought against road closures for the event, said he was glad that the event, which attracts up to 2,000 cyclists, would be able to continue on open roads.
“I am pleased they are not moving out of the area completely because the event brings a lot of money into the economy and I am glad they have listened to our concerns,” he said.
“There were a lot of people in my ward who were trapped in their homes and it is good the organisers have had the common sense to listen us.”
His views were echoed by another councilor, John Phillips, who said: “I know the number of complaints I received was susbtantial but at the end of the day I would not want to see the race stopped because I know it helps support a lot of great charities.
“The only issue was the length of the road closures, because six to 10 hours was unacceptable. To be fair to the race organisers, they did work extremely hard this year to deal with a lot of the issues we did have.
“I am grateful the race is still going ahead. I have always been fully supportive of the charities it benefits.”
In the past, local opposition to the event has manifested itself in the shape of tacks being scattered on the road as well as signage being changed to put participants off-course.
In September, when it was first revealed that next year’s event might dispense with closed roads, Human Race’s operations director Kirsty Wilde emphasised that most locals were supportive of it.
Speaking just after this year’s event, she said: "The cyclists were overwhelmed by local support throughout the route as lots of spectators welcomed them to their community and cheered them on with homemade signs giving them the extra push they required."
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.