Posted Tuesday 7th May 2013 –
Geraint Thomas, ambassador of the Wiggle Etape Cymru has unveiled the route for the 2013 event which is widely known in the cycling community as the toughest closed road sportive in the UK. The 88 mile route which starts and finishes at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse on Sunday 8th September now heads north into Bangor-on-Dee taking in the rolling landscape of North Wales to Rhosllanerchrugog.
Riders will then ascend onto Panorama walk which boasts fantastic views of the Vale of LLangollen, heading west towards the infamous Horseshoe Pass. Participants will go on to tackle this 6.1km timed climb with 317m ascend and a gradient that reaches 20% on the bends. Geraint advises those taking part in the Wiggle Etape Cymru, to become familiar with the route before tackling the course. “Make sure you study the route and know what is coming up,” Geraint said. “Also take your time on the tough climbs so you have enough energy to get you to the top.”
After tackling Panorama Walk, the route descends down the valley towards Carog which is the furthest point away from the finish line. This leads to a 10 mile gradual ascent until the route descends into Craig Fechen and the furthest Northerly point of the route. “At this point it’s important not to try and match the pace of other riders,” Geraint advises. “It can be tempting to do this but be careful not to run out of gas with a few miles to go.”
Riders will then prepare to ascend onto The Shelf which is the 2nd steepest climb of the route and one not to be underestimated. The Shelf is a 4 mile climb that incorporates another incredible view of the valley ascending approximately 700 feet.
After various undulations to Minera, the route embarks on its final last ‘big’ climb up onto Worlds End. Here participants will reach the highest point of the route at 1410 ft.
Following this a sharp descent takes riders back onto Panorama Walk where they will undertake the gradual descent back towards Bangor dropping approximately 850 feet.
On the route there will be 6 feed stations dishing up Welsh rarebit, salted potatoes, bananas and PowerBar drinks and gels and Geraint advises that riders make the most of this. He said: “It’s important to note where the feed zones are. A bit of Welsh rarebit always goes down nicely so make the most of that.”
Geraint added, “It’s a challenging route, but it’s a great chance to get out and enjoy the roads. It’s not every day the roads are closed off and members of the public get to ride on them. As cyclists we take it for granted.”