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Para Grand Prix of Wales added to Abergavenny Festival

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Para Grand Prix of Wales
Event: 14 July 2013
Location: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, South Wales
Preview: Abergavenny Festival of Cycling

Abergavenny is driving the Paralympic legacy forward this year with a Welsh cycling first in the summer.The 2013 Festival of Cycling has taken another step towards becoming Wales' Capital of Cycling by adding a major event to the week-long programme that begins on Tuesday 9 July.

Riders from across the UK will be competing in two high-profile national events over the week with the now well-established Friday evening Town Centre Critieriums, including the National Elite Road Series, taking place plus a leg of the Premier Calendar road race on Sunday 14 July.

The Iron Mountain Sportif, which will see family, friends and competitive cyclists, tackle leisure rides around the circuit used for the 2009 National Road Championships in Monmouthshire, is on Sunday 13 July.

"The Festival of Cycling is growing rapidly and the addition of Paralympic and disability events is only a natural progression for us and the sport in general."

Bill Owen, Event Organiser

However, for the first time, disabled riders will also be tackling a course in Abergavenny in Wales' debut disability road race.

Disability track cycling events have taken place at Newport's Wales National Velodrome in previous years but a race on the road has never been done - until now.

Festival of Cycling organiser Bill Owen said: "The Festival of Cycling is growing rapidly and the addition of Paralympic and disability events is only a natural progression for us and the sport in general.

"Our athletes from Wales and the UK performed spectacularly well at the Paralympics last year and including a disabilty road race is now a key ingredient to the Festival's continuing growth.

"There has not been a road race event for the disabled in Wales before, so we are proud to be the first to include this group of riders into the fold of our week of competition and riding."

The disability race will take place on a circuit around the area and involve riders from many different categories of Paralympic cycling.

Owen has liaised closely with Welsh Paracycling coach and guru Neil Smith, who commentated for TV on the cycling events at the Games last September and has guided Tredegar's Mark Colbourne to his gold medals and world records there, in order to get Abergavenny race off the drawing board and into reality.

Smith said: "It's great to build on the London Paralympic success with the first Paracyling road race in Wales. This is the much-talked about London legacy in action and a great opportunity for Welsh talent of the future to start their competitive careers on home turf."

The disability races will see riders from UK and Europe competing, with events for hand-cycles, trikes and tandems that are used by different disabilities, such as spinal injury, Cerebral Palsy and visual impairment.

Great Britain was the most successful Para-cycling team at the Paralympic Games in London 2012 taking 22 medals in total, with seven of those medals coming from road cycling, so the competition should be world class.

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