Event: 26 May 2013
Location: Aberystwyth Boat Club Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales
London 2012 Gold medal winning cyclist Ed Clancy MBE and 2011 World Junior Downhill Champion Manon Carpenter are the headline attractions at the fourth Aberystwyth Cycle Festival which takes place between 24th – 26th May.
The festival now covers three days of action, including Downhill Mountain biking and a mass sportive road ride in addition to ITV’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series race. Festival visitors will now see more thrills and spills in Aberystwyth town centre as well as experience the beautiful and undiscovered lanes of Ceredigion on their own bikes.
On Friday 24th May, Aberystwyth hosts round four of the eleven round Pearl Izumi Tour Series professional cycle race. This is the only round to visit Wales and it is the third year in succession that Aber has hosted the popular, spectator friendly cycle event. The award winning course circumnavigates the iconic 19th century Old College, the 13th century Castle, the Victorian Pier and also brushes the town centre for what is a great day’s entertainment for all. The ten top ranked UK professional cycling teams will do battle over one hour with the first team to get three riders across the finish line being declared winner of the race. Teams like Rapha Condor JLT with Olympic gold medalist Ed Clancy MBE and last years Aberystwyth winner Kristian House as well as Team UK Youth, managed by none other than Formula 1 icon Nigel Mansell, plus the Metaltek-Knights of Old team who feature Aberystwyth’s own professional cyclist Gruff Lewis, will all give the crowds plenty to cheer on the night.
Whilst the professionals display their talents on the evening of the 24th, cyclists from as young as 8 years old also have a rare chance to race on closed roads from 2pm with six separate races for local schoolchildren, followed by a Town Vs Gown fun challenge for local adults and students. With other races involving budding amateurs, over 500 cyclists are expected to be racing around the towns streets on the day. Many of the town’s local businesses have come on board with café’s and takeaways around the course all open throughout the evening. Entries for these races are still open at www.abercyclefest.com.
Following Friday’s criterium, downhill mountain biking makes its debut in Aberystwyth on what is possibly the perfect setting for such a race – Constitution Hill. Riders already booked for the event include Welsh former World Junior Champion Manon Carpenter and top UK elite rider Sam Dale, both riding for elite professional downhill squad Madison-Saracen. Qualifying takes place in the morning with the first competitive action starting at 1pm. Spectators are provided with a full day’s entertainment of thrills, spills and exceptional skill as the bikes plummet down the hillside to finish on the promenade. Access to the cliff for walkers is catered for with an alternative route to the summit during racing. The Consti Café is an event sponsor and they are hosting entertainment on the Friday evening and Saturday afternoon on top of the Cliff.
Both Friday and Saturday’s proceedings are complimented by a promenade Expo, with stalls such as the Welsh Red Meat Roadshow, Sustrans, Continental Tyres, Welsh Cycling, and Maxifuel. Ceredigion’s youth based cycling club West Wales Cycle Racing will also have a stall to cater for any new interest whilst face painters and children’s tattoo artists are also booked.
Another new feature of the 2013 festival is Sunday’s Welsh Wild West Sportive. Ceredigion features some of the best and quietest roads in the country, stunning scenery and challenging terrain and so this event caters for all abilities of cyclist with distances of 28 miles (Corrach route), 62 miles (Mynach) and 102 miles (Cawr). This event start from 8am on Sunday 26th from Aberystwyth Boat Club with riders expected to return to from 11am onwards. A small Expo plus our event commentator await the finishers who will all receive a bowl of Welsh Cawl for there efforts as well as other goodies.
The Aberystwyth Cycle Festival is backed by Aberystwyth University, Cambrian Tyres Ltd, Ceredigion County Council, Welsh Government, Aberystwyth Town Council and Tourism Partnership Mid Wales along with support from local businesses.
“It is great that our partners in Aberystwyth are putting on such an exciting weekend of events, with The Tour Series as their focus”, said Series Director Mick Bennett.
“Friday night’s Tour Series race will be the perfect way to kick start an action packed weekend of cycling in the most spectacular way possible.”
Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, said;
“I’m so pleased to see that Aberystwyth is once again able to host popular cycling events. The race last year was well supported by locals and by the cycling enthusiasts who came from afar to cheer all the competitors and the children’s event. The seafront and promenade is an excellent backdrop and venue to welcome competitors to Aberystwyth.”
Professor Martin Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University added:
“This is the third year that Aberystwyth University has been a core partner of this exciting event. Health, exercise and wellbeing are integral to our teaching and research strategies, as is contributing to the vibrancy of the local and regional economy. Now expanded into the Aber Cycle Fest, we are looking forward to a weekend where there is something for everyone”.
View the full event details now at www.abercyclefest.com