Wales

Event: Cambrian Coast Sportive

Date: 16th September 2017

The Cambrian Coast Sportive on September 16th takes in some of the UK’s most spectacular countryside. Starting from Aberdovey and set entirely within the Snowdonia National Park, the routes follow the coast and beaches, climb the mountains, skirt around lakes and descend through forests, making this arguably the most scenic sportive ride in the country.
In this sparsely populated part of the country, well over half of each route is done on minor back roads with smooth tarmac and where cars are seldom seen allowing riders to ride happily side by side.
Highlights of the routes includes the spectacular Cregennan Lakes with its views over the Mawddach Estuary, the coastal road to Fairbourne (10km) right by the sea, the crossing of three estuary bridges and the mighty Bwlch y Groes (aka Hellfire Pass) which is the highest piece of tarmac in Wales and features in Simon Warren’s ’100 Greatest Cycling Climbs’.The routes are comprehensively marshalled and sign-posted with 3 feed-stations (5 on the Long route) and riders benefit from electronic chip timing.

Routes: Route options include 100,140 and 160km routes.

Fun route: This route follows the standard route along the magnificent coast road to Fairbourne from Aberdovey. It is a lot less testing than the other routes with only a small amount of elevation, but is a good challenge for recreational riders and families and features the same spectacular scen-ery. Distance: 50km/31 miles Climbing: 593m

Standard Route: This route takes in the spectacular coast road from Aberdovey to Fairbourne, then crosses the Barmouth railway bridge and follows the far side of the estuary. From there, the route crosses the wooden bridge at Penmaenpool and ascends a steep climb up to Cregennan Lakes (you will need small gears!), where the first feed station is at 52km.
Following the scenic forest route to Cross Foxes Inn and the second feed station, the route wends its way back alongside the Talyllyn steam railway and past the Talyllyn lake to Aberdovey.
Distance: 100km/62 miles. Climbing: 1418m

Long Route: After the feed station at this point, the route splits. The Long Route then heads over the Dinas Mawddwy Pass (367m) and then a long descent down to the turn off to Bwlch y Groes (Hellfire Pass). This climb is not that long but pretty steep, averaging 13.7% and with a hairpin at 25% and goes up to 554m in 2.5km – the highest tarmac road in Wales. A genuinely tough climb that featured in the Milk Race in the 80’s and makes it into Simon Warren’s ‘100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.
The descent off this climb is stunning and the route rolls down towards Bala Lake before taking the flat straight road back towards Cross Foxes. The route finishes the same way as the Standard Route
Distance: 144km/90 miles Climbing: 2418m

The Big Dog Route: The route follows the standard route above up to Cross Foxes Inn at 65km.
After the feed station at this point, the route splits. The Long Route then heads over the Dinas Mawddwy Pass (367m) and then a long descent down to the turn off to Bwlch y Groes (Hellfire Pass). This climb is not that long but pretty steep, averaging 13.7% and with a hairpin at 25% and goes up to 554m in 2.5km – the highest tarmac road in Wales. A genuinely tough climb that featured in the Milk Race in the 80’s and makes it into Simon Warren’s ‘100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.
The descent off this climb is stunning and the route rolls down towards Bala Lake before climbing again into the mountains on the other side of the Valley in the Coed y Brenin forest.
The route finishes the same way as the Standard Route.
Distance: 163km/101 miles. Climbing: 2949m

Event website: http://www.welshcyclingevents.co.uk
Host Town: Aberdovey, Gwynedd.