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Preview: Tour of the Mining Valleys
Ystwyth CC, Aberystwyth, Mid-Wales
Event: 26th June 2011
Preview: Snowdon Sports
With the first full field since Olympian Sharon Laws taught the majority of the field a lesson in 2008, the Tour of the Mining Valleys is back with a bang this year.
Sunday's race (June 26) will once again be held on arguably the toughest road race course in Wales for 2/3/4 cat riders on a course south east of Aberystwyth, recently host to a round of the Halfords Tour Series.
The 60-mile route takes in some of the old silver, lead and zinc mines that were the staple economy in the area in the 19th century. This history dates back even further as Charles I commissioned a Royal Mint in Aberystwyth for a period in the 17th century, such was the output of precious metals at the time.
Many of the old mine workings are still visible today, but the riders won't have the time to take in the views along the Ystwyth valley as they tackle four one mile climbs and some fast descents.
With a mix of previous winners in Gareth McGuiness (Clwb Egni) and current Welsh champion, and defending Mining Valleys champ Gruff Lewis (Team UK Youth) on the start line as well as a big contingent from the South West region, this promises to be a race that will be hard on the legs.
The line up also includes 2007 national hill-climb champion James Dobbin and his Adeo Cadence team, plus Team Qoroz, Chippenham Wheelers and Mid Devon CC.
The remaining Welsh challenge will come from Team Cyclemart who include President's Road Race winner Justin Harcourt, Cwmcarn Paragon have serial winner Richard Harris and Port Talbot Wheelers look set to include in-form Hefin Price and Dan Pearson.
But we may also see a surprise from the many entrants who come to Aberystwyth with an already overflowing palmares sheet.
The race begins at 10.30am at the Renault Dealership in Penparcau, one mile south of Aberystwyth on the A487.