Event: 9 June 2013
The tenth year of the Wiggle Dragon Ride was blessed with lots of sunshine, as more than 4000 riders descended on Margam Country Park in Port Talbot, South Wales ready to tame the Dragon.
3653 riders stepped up to the challenge of the Gran Fondo distance which sees cyclists cover a grueling 210kms with the added challenge of 3,350 metres of climbing. The hot conditions which reached up to 24 degrees added to the challenge for cyclists who took advantage of Welsh Rarebit and PowerBar supplies at the feed stations to provide some much needed energy. Cyclists were also grateful for a chilled Vita Coco to re-hydrate them at the finish line.
The Medio Fondo distance attracted 1168 cyclists who had risen to the challenge of the 128km route though the beautiful Welsh valleys and mountains. This option brought riders on a climb of 1875 metres which tested the legs of the cyclists but many commented that it was worth it to enjoy the beautiful Welsh scenery at the peak.
In addition to this, 200 ladies took part in the first ever Cycletta at the Wiggle Dragon Ride. The ladies took on a challenging, hilly route of 38km. This new element to the Wiggle Dragon Ride has replaced the previous Corto distance. This route is the most challenging of all the Cycletta events which take place nationwide and attracted a mix of experienced cyclists and new-comers to the sport who were looking for a good challenge.
Many riders relished the opportunity to tackle the long, steep climbs of the Welsh mountains which are akin to French Alpine climbs giving riders relentless climbing on some tough points of the course. Lots of participants also took the opportunity to raise money for the official charity of the Wiggle Dragon Ride,Prostate Cancer UK.
Famous faces taking part in this year’s Wiggle Dragon Ride included ex-rugby player Austin Healey who cycled on a Giant Defy Advanced sl10 bike."The Dragon Ride is the best sportive around,” the former English international commented. “Even though it is in Wales!” he added with a wry smile. “Since I finished playing rugby I really got into cycling. It’s easy on the joints and I enjoy that real camaraderie that comes with going out on a long bike ride with mates.”
Five cyclists were recognised by Human Race this weekend for having successfully completed all ten years of the Dragon Ride. They were presented with limited edition tenth anniversary polo shirts to mark their dedication to the event. Andy Morgan who celebrated a decade taking part in the Wiggle Dragon Ride commented: “It definitely does get better and better every single year but it still has the same character and same sense of enjoyment.”
Wiggle Dragon Ride founder Lou Lusardi said: “I am delighted to celebrate the tenth year of the Wiggle Dragon Ride. Little did I know that when I started the event back in 2004 with 280 cyclists that it would continue to grow to what it is today. The unparalleled scenery and challenging course is what keeps people coming back year after year.”
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race who organise the Wiggle Dragon Ride said: “This year’s Wiggle Dragon Ride has been a huge success. Now in its tenth year, it is fantastic to celebrate the event which had grown into the UK’s most prestigious sportive. As we look to the next decade, we look forward to continuing a great tradition and providing world class cycling in South Wales for many years to come.”
Andrew Whillas, Sponsorship Manager at Wiggle, added: “What an amazing event - well done and congratulations to all riders! Wiggle is all about getting more people riding more often and sponsoring events like the Wiggle Dragon Ride provide a great goal for people to aim for. Wiggle is proud to have been title sponsor of the Wiggle Dragon Ride in its tenth year and hopefully we will see plenty of the same faces again next year at this iconic event.”
Human Race organise a number of UK’s top sportive cycling events including the Financial Times London Cycle Sportive and the Wiggle Dragon Ride’s sister event the Wiggle Etape Cymru. For more information and to register your interest for next yearplease visit www.humanrace.co.uk/cycling