Velothon Wales 2016 route revealed by organisers
The stunning 140km route for Velothon Wales 2016 has been revealed, with three months to go until the country’s biggest cycling sportive.
Up to 18,000 cyclists are expected to take part in this year’s closed-road event on Sunday 22 May, taking in some of the most beautiful and challenging roads around South Wales.
Cyclists, spectators, residents and businesses can now visit www.velothon-wales.co.uk and journey through the full 140km route via an interactive map.
As previously announced, the 50km route has been withdrawn from this year’s event to minimise disruption. It means the loop from Newport, under the M4 at junction 28, along Forge Lane, through Rhiwderin to Caerphilly is not occurring and the residents will not be affected.
Changes from the inaugural event in 2015 occur on the Usk Road from Caerleon to Usk, where the route turns right at the Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel just before Llangybi and travels through Tredunnock and past the Newbridge on Usk before joining Abernant Road towards Usk.
The route then travels through Llantrisant and Llanllywel before arriving in Usk via Maryport Street, before a right turn into Church Street. The route then leaves Usk along the B4598, Porthycarne Street, through Chain Bridge and Nantyderry before re-joining the 2015 route on the A4042 south of Llanover.
The course then follows the same route as in 2015 and riders will once again take on the very same 140km as some of the world’s best pro teams in the UCI classified 1.1 professional road race.
Starting in Cardiff city centre, it takes riders out of the capital via the Docks and along a 7.5km stretch along the coast road through the Gwent Levels.
Passing through the villages of Peterstone and St Brides, cyclists will reach Newport taking in stunning views over the River Usk and will witness city centre highlights such as the Transporter Bridge.
Leaving the city centre via Langstone towards Caerleon, cyclists will pass the old steelworks and climb 1.6km to enjoy spectacular views of the Celtic Manor and surrounding area.
After the new changes detailed above, the route then goes up to Abergavenny on the A4042 heading up to Llanfoist for The Tumble climb, a famously challenging 6km stretch of road with an average gradient of 9%.
After tackling The Tumble, riders will then begin their journey back towards Cardiff, through the Unesco World Heritage Site at Blaenavon then to Pontypool, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed and on to Caerphilly – past the castle and up the famous Caerphilly Mountain – before finishing in front of thousands of spectators in Cardiff city centre.
Residents and businesses who will be affected by the road closures associated with the event will start to receive letters with information about the event this month.
Matt Newman, chief executive of Velothon Wales organisers Run 4 Wales, said: “After discussions with all five local authorities involved, Welsh Government and Welsh and British Cycling we are delighted to be able to announce the route for Velothon Wales 2016.
“We are sure riders will love the stunning scenery, challenging climbs and showpiece city centre start and finish, as they complete the 140km course on closed-roads.
“The local event delivery team are currently in the process of sending out more than 100,000 letters to residents and businesses along the route, giving them detailed information about the event.
“We are committed to improving the level of communication with those affected by road closures and welcome feedback from residents and businesses.”
The inaugural Velothon Wales in 2015 was a huge hit with cyclists, bringing more than 10,000 riders of all ages abilities to the area to tackle the stunning route. It benefitted the local economy by an estimated £2m and raised in excess of £300,000 for good causes.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “The first Velothon Wales was a unique and exciting opportunity to showcase Wales to the world. This year is the Year of Adventure in Wales which will celebrate all we have to offer as an adventure destination. The Velothon is an excellent opportunity for people to sign up and get training for their own personal challenge and to take part in Year of Adventure 2016.”
Velothon Wales 2016 is supported by Welsh Cycling, British Cycling, Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, Newport City Council, Monmouthshire County Council, Torfaen County Borough Council and Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Welsh Cycling chief executive Anne Adams-King commented: “Welsh Cycling is excited to welcome Velothon Wales back in May, with a route that will enthuse and challenge participants. We saw thousands of people take part and support each other in 2015, and hope this years’ event will once again inspire Wales to cycle.”
Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Community Development, Cooperatives and Social Enterprise, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “We are excited to welcome back Velothon Wales and following last year’s success it is great to see the event featuring in the city’s sporting calendar.
“The route looks set to take in some beautiful sights around Cardiff and South Wales and will showcase what our city has on offer to an international audience.”
A spokesperson for Newport City Council said: ”Newport is looking forward to hosting part of the Velothon Wales later this year. It is set to be a great event.”
Monmouthshire County Council Leader Peter Fox said: “We look forward to Velothon 2016 coming to Monmouthshire and welcome the new route in our county. Our officers continue to work with organisers to ensure that communities are informed about the impact of the race. We encourage communities to become involved and make the most of the opportunities that Velothon 2016 presents.”
The leader of Torfaen Council, Bob Wellington CBE, said: “The first Velothon Wales was a huge success, with residents across Torfaen entering into the spirit of the event and coming out to support the riders as they passed through the borough.
“We are looking forward to again welcoming the riders to Torfaen, and we hope that riders and residents alike have a fantastic day as part of this spectacular event.”
Cllr Ken James, Caerphilly’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning said: “We welcome the return of the Velothon to South Wales in 2016 and I’m sure it will build on the success of last year’s race. Events like this help put the Caerphilly county borough on the map and can provide a significant boost to the local economy. It will be great to see the community get behind the event again this year and line the route to show their support to the thousands of participants who will be taking part.
“We also recognise that lessons can be learnt from last year as widespread road closures can be disruptive to residents and local businesses. We will be consulting over the next couple of weeks so that we can identify any issues and build these into the detailed traffic management plans on the day. ”
General entry places for Velothon Wales have been selling quickly. There are a limited number of spaces still remaining via www.velothon-wales.co.uk
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