If you’ve had the idea to ride the Etape Cymru this year you better get a move on – entries to this Sunday’s event close at 9am Wednesday morning.
Starting and finishing in Wrexham, North Wales, it’s one of the only closed-road sportives in the country. Having ridden the event last year BikeRadar can attest to how tough a ride it is with climbs including Horseshoe Pass, Panorama and The Shelf, but coming where it does in the calendar, all riders will have plenty summer miles in their legs. The 92-mile route features over 3,000 metres of climbing, making it one of the toughest amateur challenges in the UK.
Organisational issues during last year’s inaugural event may have dissuaded riders from entering again, but experienced sports events management firm Human Race – owners of the Wiggle Dragon Ride - took over the reins earlier this year.
The start village has changed to Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, which should hopefully avoid the chaos of 2011, where thousands of riders descended onto narrow country roads from the off. Judging by the recce of the route BikeRadar went on in April, the new-look event is in safe hands.
Entry costs £55, which gives you the unique opportunity to ride without motorists on some of the most picturesque roads in the UK. Marshals will man all junctions on the course, with riders getting access to medical and mechanical support, and Zipvit-stocked feed stations.
To enter or find out more about the event, visit the Etape Cymru website.