South East Mountain Biking Ridgeway & Chilterns is a compact guide to some of the best mountain bike riding in Southern England, west of London. The Chilterns and the area either…
New for 2022, the Cymru MTB classic is a multi-day stage race for teams of two. This event will be the UK’s first qualifier for the Absa Cape Epic. Set to take place in Snowdonia from 17-19 June 2022. There are three stages over 150km with 3600m of climbing. Teams will have to work together in order to get their medal. Registration opens on 4 August 2021 and entries start at £899 per team.
Cymru MTB Classic 2022
Here’s what the release says about the event:
From 17 to 19 June 2022, this Epic Series race held in Southern Snowdonia is set to change the UK’s mountain biking scene for good, thanks to its multiple stages and 2-person team format; combined with the Welsh welcome and world-renowned hospitality.
The Cymru MTB Classic presents a 150km cloverleaf route across Gwynedd County’s countryside; much of which has been previously inaccessible for a timed race format. In 2022, for the first time, teams will get to explore the region’s extensive network of trails. There’s natural and man-made, bridle paths boasting outstanding beauty, and spectacular descents off craggy peaks. Riders will return to Dolgellau at the end of each stage to celebrate the day’s achievements.
Dolgellau and Snowdonia have long been the Mecca for UK mountain biking. It offers an outstanding variety of terrain and trail, from wild and remote mountain paths, ancient bridleways, old drover roads and farm tracks, to purpose-built, hand crafted singletrack in the UK’s original trail centre. In choosing trails for the Cymru MTB Classic I have kept a focus on highlighting this variety of terrain and trail against the spectacular scenery of this quieter corner of Snowdonia in Gwynedd County.Steve Beech, Route Designer and Course Director of the Cymru MTB Classic
Riding in Wales
The route includes a visit to the spiritual home of mountain biking in the UK, the Coed-y-Brenin forest. Coed-y-Brenin was the first forest developed for mountain biking and, to this day, retains its reputation as a premier location.
While mountain biking has been hugely popular across the UK for years, and particularly in Wales, riders have never had the chance to take on the challenges and enjoyments that an Epic Series event presents. A fully-timed, multi-day stage race in a two-person team format on home soil. We have some of the best MTB trails in the world. So the next logical step is to bring the most prestigious international mountain biking series to Snowdonia to showcase them.
Dean Smith, Cymru MTB Classic Race Director
As part of the Epic Series’ global portfolio of best-in-class mountain bike stage races, riders can expect a mountain biking experience that is second to none. On the bike, the Cymru MTB Classic is a celebration of mountain biking. Teams can expect to explore the region’s most incredible trails, conquering and achieving together. Off the bike, these same teams will be treated to Wales’ unique and welcoming culture in the race villages.
We as a Council are very pleased to have been working closely with Welsh Government and the Epic Series. This is the first event of its kind in the UK. It will be based in Dolgellau and the surrounding areas, initially over the next three years, but we hope for much longer. We are extremely pleased the event organisers have engaged with the local community to gain support. As well as their emphasis on the Welsh language and culture of the area.Cllr Gareth Thomas Cabinet member for the Economy and Community
Absa Cape Epic
While the focus of the Cymru MTB Classic is mountain biking amongst like-minded people in one of the most magical places on the planet, qualification spots are also awarded to participate in the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa, either via performance or draw.
The Absa Cape Epic, the pinnacle event in the Epic Series, has been described as the Tour de France of mountain biking. It attracts the world’s best racers as well as ambitious amateurs from across the world.
With the United Kingdom accounting for a large percentage of applicants to ride the Absa Cape Epic each year, the opportunity to qualify on UK soil is sure to entice the region’s most passionate riders. But like all Epic Series races, it’s not just about the racing at the sharp end. All participants can expect a world-class full service event, in an iconic travel destination, with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the social atmosphere off the bike.Kati Csak, Global Director of the Epic Series
Stage one is 46km with 1000m of climbing.
Day one’s route is a huge loop circling the extinct volcano of Rhobell Fawr. Leaving Dolgellau, riders quickly find themselves climbing into the farmland hills and forests north of the town. Here they hit the highest point of day one. 16km into the stage Rhobell Fawr looming large to their West.
From there the spectacular views continue downhill through tracks and bridleways dropping into Cwm Hasgen near the source of the Mawddach river. Then picking up the rocky Roman road Sarn Helen. After passing the halfway point, riders are treated to their first taste of Coed-y-Brenin to test the skills and appetite for speed on singletrack. The final miles take in a steady descent along the Mawddach valley returning to the stage finish line in Dolgellau.Cymru MTB Classic
Stage two is 56km with 1500m of climbing.
Heading south from Dolgellau, riders are straight into the climbs with over 400m of ascent in the first few kilometres, crossing the foothills of Cadair Idris. The reward is a fast descent through forest tracks, passing the Aberllefenni slate quarry and the quiet village of Corris. Then climbing again into the Dyfi Forest and taking on one of the longest singletrack descents in the UK.
From there more flowing forest trail awaits, with some big climbs and challenging descents, with awesome views of the entire Cadair Idris mountain range. Riders will need to conserve energy for the final challenging climb over the aptly named Fron Fawr (Big Hill) before the descent back into Dolgellau.Cymru MTB Classic
Stage three is 48km with 1100m of climbing.
Riders will bid farewell to Dolgellau for the final time during Stage 3 as they prepare for a Grand Finale befitting of a celebration. There’s no shortage of climbing on this final stage. With a big climb straight from the start up to and over the Bwlch Goriward pass. The trail then drops past goldmines and waterfalls into the UK’s spiritual home of mountain biking, Coed-y-Brenin Forest.
Teams will enjoy some of the best and toughest singletrack the centre has to offer before climbing out into the shadow of the Rhinog mountain range. Then they’ll drop through Cwm Mynach (the Welsh Rainforest) and over the picturesque Penmaenpool wooden bridge on their race to claim the Cymru MTB Classic finisher’s medal.Cymru MTB Classic
For more head to the website.
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