David McWilliam

Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law

DATE PUBLISHED: 11 Mar 2016 LAST UPDATED: 08 Jul 2021

Velothon Wales cycle ride completed

On 14th June 2015, I took part in the Velothon Wales cycle event. The 140km route started and finished in Cardiff. There was also a 50km route. 13,000 riders took part in this closed road event.

The night before, the JLT Condor Pro team were staying in the same hotel as me. Ed Clancy MBE, 2 time Olympic Gold Medallist & 5 time World Champion was present and I sat within ear shot of their team meeting for the pro race the following day around the same circuit as I was riding.

On the day of the event, I set off from the start line at 9am. Fortunately, the weather was dry unlike the day before at registration. We set off towards Newport and the pace was high. Near the Celtic Manor resort it all came to a halt as riders stopped and carried their bikes with rumours of tacks been thrown over the road. I personally did not see any but the BBC News reported that tacks were on the road.

After a short delay, the riders continued North into Monmouthshire and to Abergavenny and the first real test of the day with an ascent up The Tumble climb. This featured in the Tour of Britain in 2014. It was classed as a category 1 climb for the Tour with a 6km climb up to 512m with an average gradient of 10%. It was a brutal and punishing climb with my heart rate sitting at 183 for the majority of the 21 minute climb. A quick photo at the top (see below) and a top up of water at the rather busy feed station and I was on my way down the descent. I took my eyes off my Garmin at 43mph!

We then headed South into Caerphilly. There was no time to admire the stunning castle before the Caerphilly Mountain started. It ramped up to 20% in places and by now there were plenty of cyclists walking. I managed to get to the top and then enjoy the descent. It was pretty much downhill into Cardiff for the finish.

The Welsh public embraced this event and despite up to 12 hours of road closures, they were out in force supporting the riders. The support coming into Cardiff was fantastic.

It took me 4 hours 40 minutes to complete the ride at an average speed of 18mph. A fantastic event and I have already registered for next year.

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