Route details have been released for the first round of this summer’s GORE BIKE WEAR™ road sportive in Llanwrtyd Wells.
Both of the looped routes on offer take you through some of the most stunningly scenic areas in the heart of Mid Wales and hopefully you'll have time to notice as you take on one of the most challenging road sportives in the 2009 series.
For Round 1 of the series riders have the choice of either the Standard Route: a 50 mile ride with approximately 2,200 metres of climbing or the Classic Route: a 90 mile ride with 3,600 metres of climbing.
Both routes start from the Show Field, Llanwrtyd Wells, the two routes split immediately on leaving the venue. The 50 mile route heads west through Llanwrtyd Wells towards Abergwesyn. The 90 mile route heads east, gently descending towards Llangammarch Wells, then along undulating B roads through Garth and Beulah and then west to rejoin the shorter route in Abergwesyn.
Both routes then turn towards Tregaron, eventually reaching the legendary Devil's Staircase, one mile long and very steep, which in its day featured as an hors category climb on both the Milk Race and the Kelloggs Tour of Britain.
After the Staircase you drop steeply, only to face another climb almost as steep and a bit longer. Get over that and you turn south down the Tywi Valley towards Llandovery, reaching the first feed-station and checkpoint at 33 miles for the longer course and 25 miles for the shorter course. This stretch is in one of the most beautiful valleys in Wales and the feed station is at a viewing point overlooking the Llynbrianne Reservoir. The road leads through Rhandirmywn passing The Royal Oak Public House.
On reaching Llandovery the shorter route turns east and climbs over the Sugar loaf and then descends back to Llanwrtyd Wells. While the longer route follows the main road for a few miles before turning onto B roads towards Brecon. The second feed station is near the village of Cradoc, at approximately 67 miles. Just past Cradoc the route turns left towards Upper Chapel and then left again over the Eppynt Military Range, descending to Llangammarch Wells and continues back through Cefngorwydd to Llanwrtyd Wells.
The event village is situated a few hundred metres from the town offering lots of drinking and eating places - ideal for a quiet shandy before the big ride on Saturday or Sunday.
The event village/camp ground/start and finish location will be signposted from every direction from Friday afternoon onwards and will stay open for the campers till Monday morning. So if you want to make a long weekend of it – this is your chance. You can find all the details on the 1st round by going to the event page . To find out more about the series visit www.gorebikewearsportives.com.
1st August 2009 in Selkirk, Scotland (featuring the ‘extreme’ loop)
19th September 2009 in Ruthin, Wales
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.