Llangollen features prominently in the route of the 2013 Wiggle Etape Cymru which has just been unveiled by its ambassador double Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas.
The event, on Sunday, September 8, is widely known in the cycling community as the toughest closed road sportive in the UK.
The 92-mile route, which starts and finishes at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, 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 Thomas (pictured below right) advises those taking part in the Wiggle Etape Cymru, to become familiar with the route before tackling the course.
He said: “Make sure you study the route and know what is coming up. 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 four-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 1410ft.
Following this a sharp descent takes riders back onto Panorama Walk where they will undertake the gradual descent back towards Bangor dropping approximately 850feet.
On the route there will be six 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,:“There’s a great social aspect to it, it’s a fun sportive, not a race, so it’s a great chance for people to enjoy being outdoors and in each other’s company.”
"It’s not every day the roads are closed off and Joe Public gets to ride on them. As cyclists we take it for granted.”
Jamie Groves, Denbighshire County Council's Head of Communication, Marketing and Leisure said: "The council is proud to be associated with the annual Wiggle Etape Cymru cycle event. Here in Denbighshire we are working hard to establish the county as a centre for cycling excellence. We have the infrastructure to deliver this, with resources such as the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Cycling Centre at Llandegla right on our very own doorstep.
"This year will be the third year in a row that Denbighshire County Council has been actively involved in assisting event organisers to ensure the safe running of this event and we are confident that it will continue to be a great success."
Cllr Neil Rogers, Leader of Wrexham Council, added: “As one of premier sportives in Europe, Wiggle Etape Cymru takes in some of the most stunning views in the Britain and provides a challenge for all those who take part. With the event now in its third year, Wiggle Etape Cymru has enhanced the area’s profile and we are proud to have it as part of our portfolio of major sporting events. "People from all over the UK have signed up to take part in the event. It also brings economic benefits to the region, with many of the participants staying in the region and making a weekend of it.”
Entry deadline for the event is Monday, September 2.
About Human Race
Human Race is the UK’s largest and most diverse mass participation events company; owning and delivering over 50 events in triathlon, cycling, running, duathlon and open water swimming for over 50,000 participants of all abilities and ages each year. The highly prestigious portfolio of events includes 11 triathlons, nine cycling events, 10 running events, 7 open water swims, 6 kid’s events. These events bring together an active community of people taking part in sporting events for reasons ranging from fitness, competition, charity, health, fun or to simply finish. The participants vary from nervous first timers from 4 to 80 through to World Champions. Collectively, the events raise millions of pounds for hundreds of charities. For more details see http://www.humanrace.co.uk