Location: Abergavenny Rugby Club, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Event: 14/15 July 2012
With its mix of hills and valleys these routes has proved very popular with riders in the past and have always been a challenging events. Now brought together for an unforgettable weekend experience, enter both and get a 20% saving.
The family ride
Nineteen miles on the flatlands of Monmouthshire taking in Chain Bridge and the Windmill at Llancayo where turning left for Bettws Newydd and the refreshment stop near Clytha Castle. Head back to Abergavenny and Bailey Park where a carnival and cycling activities are taking place.
The 50 mile sportive
As above to Llancayo and on to the town of Usk, then turning east to Monmouth and the undulating roads back to Abergavenny via the picturesque villages of Newcastle, Grosmont and Cross Ash.
The 100 mile sportive
Bypass Abergavenny and goes on to tackle the Iron Mountain (the Tumble 1500 feet) and 50 more miles of the tough rugged countryside that is Southern Powys. After climbing for three miles the snaking road descends through the World Heritage Site of the Old Iron Masters and on to the Brecon Beacons and Llangynider. Over the packhorse bridge on the Usk to pass Llangorse Lake before the final climb at Talgarth and the descent back through Crickhowell to Abergavenny.
The Tour of the Black Mountains
The Tour of the Black Mountains takes place the following day (Sunday July 15) and features some classic routes. It incorporates three ride distances - 120 miles, 101 miles and 63 miles.
All the rides start in Bailey Park and leave Abergavenny on the same route towards Hereford but soon turn left into the Llanthony valley and head towards the Gospel Pass skirting the Prory in Llanthony village. The green valley is soon left as the road acends onto Hay Bluff before the rapid deccent to the Wye valley below.
The three routes take in the best climbs of this mountainous region. The first being the Gospel Pass which descends to Hay-on-Wye before a relatively flat section to the market town of Brecon where the 63-mile route splits towards Llangynidr and the longer routes head over the Mynnd Iltud towards Sennybridge. The 101-mile route forks left before Sennybridge and the next mountain pass while the 120-mile route see riders contending with two climbs, that of Glasfynyndd Forrest and the Bwlyc Brynn Rhudd.
The next major climb at Llangynidr sees 63-mile route rejoin the longer routes. The riders should expect to be tested to the max as they tackle this six kilometre monster that snakes to the top of the pass before the high-speed descent to Beaufort. The final climb of the day being the Tumble, the reverse side of that used in the Iron Mountain route the day before, is an appropriate crescendo before the spectacular descent into Abergavenny. For full details and entry to the Iron Mountain Sportif and the Tour of the Black Mountains, click on www.abergavennyfestivalofcycling.co.uk
The 101 and 120-mile routes coverage at the bottom of the fearsome mountain pass that bisects the summits of Fan Nedd and Fan Llia. Before a spectacular and technical descent that snakes alongside river Llia for four miles. A selection of smaller climbs lead the riders into the network of reseviors consisting of Talybont, Pentwn and Pontsticill.