by Adam Stacey
It’s official, cycling is the new golf! Riders are becoming an ever-increasing sight in Wales; whether it is the lycra clad morning commuters or the family out for a Sunday adventure - cycling is definitely en vogue.
And it’s popularity looks set to increase further with the introduction of Velothon Wales, an event that promises to deliver a weekend of cycling on a scale Wales has never before witnessed.
Starting and finishing in the heart of Cardiff city centre on the 14th June 2015, Velothon Wales will combine a completely closed road cycling event with a capacity of up to 10,000 riders alongside a UCI sanctioned professional race that is likely to attract many of the world’s top riders and teams.
The event will offer two distances to choose from - 120km & 50km – both of which will provide the ultimate safe cycling experience as a result of the road closures. And after the event, participants will be able to join thousands of spectators in Cardiff city centre to witness the conclusion of the thrilling UCI sanctioned professional race.
Following the continued growth of cycling in Wales, spearheaded by the successes of inspirational Welsh cyclists including Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Beccy James, Velothon Wales is providing individuals of all ages and abilities to take to two wheels and follow in the footsteps of their professional counterparts.
With a route that stretches as far as the Brecon Beacons, it’s the perfect way to intimately discover the beautiful Welsh scenery whilst completing a physical challenge to be immensely proud of. Velothon Wales is the latest event in the UCI Velothon Majors, a global series of cycling events organised by Lagardere Unlimited Events. Other events in the series include Velothon Berlin, Velothon Vienna and Velothon Philadelphia.
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, said: “Velothon Wales is an exciting new event and, as one of four Velothon events in the world, puts Cardiff and the surrounding area on a stage with cities like Berlin, Vienna and Philadelphia. It is another of the major sporting events we are bringing to Wales which all serve to build our reputation as a nation with an excellent pedigree in delivering major events that attract both locals and visitors alike.”
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director for British Cycling, said: “We have been working closely with the organisers of Velothon Wales for over a year now and we are very excited with how the project has developed. Bringing together elite level road racing with mass participation events has proved to be a very exciting and successful method for staging major events in recent years and I’m confident that we will have thousands of people eager to take part, either as participants or spectators. When you add in the natural landscape of Wales and the vibrancy of the city of Cardiff, there is no doubt that Velothon Wales will be memorable event, not only for 2014, but for many years to come.”
Speaking of the event, Velothon Wales’ Race Director Roland Hofer said: “We know there is a huge appetite for world-class cycling events, particularly in light of Ride London where over 80,000 people signed the ballot for the 2014 event.
“Having worked as Race Director for Velothon Berlin since 2009, I am hugely excited to be part of the team that will be delivering Velothon Wales. Each year Velothon Berlin attracts a stellar elite field which, combined with thousands of participants taking on the exact same route, creates a truly memorable day of cycling. We are looking forward to Velothon Wales emulating its success in every respect.”
Pre-registrations for the Velethon open today, with entries priced at £55 for the 120km route and £40 for the 50km route. Whilst the event is not yet on sale, those individuals who pre-register will qualify for a weeklong ‘Priority Entry Window’. Given the premium nature of the event, demand is expected to be high and so event organisers are urging all riders to pre-register now and sign up during this window to avoid missing out altogether.
To find out more and view a short promo video, please visit Velothon Wales.