Cycling Plus brings you the lowdown on Velothon Wales 2016

All you need to know ahead of Wales' biggest sportive on 22 May

Are you looking to conquer 140km of closed roads in South Wales ahead of the pros at Velothon Wales this month? Cycling Plus brings you all the information you need to get ahead of the pack and tame the twin peaks of The Tumble and Caerphilly Mountain on 22 May.

If you're still thinking of entering, now's the time to make your mind up as entries close on Monday 16 May.

For the second edition of Velothon Wales it’s very much a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The route is largely the same as last time out, with a bit of minor tinkering required for logistical reasons.

A ‘tack attack’ from disgruntled locals aside, 2015 was a big success. Over 10,000 riders were unleashed on a fast, fully closed course. It lacks the beauty of the RideLondon route, but riding the wrong way up deserted dual carriageways has its charms.

Like last year, you’ll leave central Cardiff towards Newport. The biggest change comes with the route from Usk to Abergavenny, though the destination is the same – you’ve still got to climb the Tumble.

The 2.8-mile Tumble is one of the most famous stretches of tarmac for roadies in the UK. It opens with a couple of tough, tree-lined switchbacks before opening up. The double-digit gradients for most of the climb ease towards the summit.

There’s a feed station at the summit, so use it to compose yourself, because the descent into Blaenavon is very fast. There are also several tough 90-degree bends in the town, so be careful with your speed.

Given the relentless nature of the course (there’s no need to stop at junctions or traffic lights) the final climb of Caerphilly Mountain can also be a killer. It’s not as long as the Tumble but is far steeper, and as it’s close to the finish, fatigue will be palpable.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine – the manual for the modern road cyclist. Try your first five issues for £5 when you subscribe today.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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