On the 8th July 2018, a group of riders from the club are taking part in Velothon Wales and we’d like to extend the invitation to all NFCC members. We hope this will be the first of a new series of “weekends away” and eventually a longer overseas training event. Later I’ll give a few more details but first, ride initiator Phil Harris explains a little about the weekend.
Q: What is the Velothon Phil and have you ridden it before?
“The Wales Velothon is a 140K closed road sportive event. It starts and finishes in Cardiff and takes in two of Wales’ most iconic climbs, The Tumble and Caerphilly. I participated last year with my brother who was visiting from Canada.”
Q: What do you think you will find hardest about the ride this year?
“The hardest part of this route is obviously the two big climbs, they come quite late into the course so pacing yourself before and during the climbs is essential. Arrive at The Tumble already shot and it’s going to be a long 55K to the finish. Also Caerphilly is relatively short but it’s absolutely brutal so I’ll be treating that with respect.”
Q: When you asked if other members wanted to join you for the ride, what did you hope for?
“I used to play football so team sport is in the blood and personally I get more of a buzz working together with team mates than I ever get from just ploughing a solo furrow (I do enough of that at work!). I still like to hit personal targets though and getting around in a good time is much more likely if club mates of a similar standard are working together. More than anything else though I guess it’s just more fun.”
Q: Interest in the ride seems to be growing, in fact the event could be one of the biggest weekends away in the NFCC’s history. Has that changed your aims?
“Yes it’s great that we have a large group going now and some very strong riders amongst them. Not sure it’s changed my aims as such but as I have been telling everyone what a great event it was, I am hoping that it doesn’t [throw it] down and that the other guys enjoy it as much as I did last year.”
Q: Can any NFCC member join and how good a rider do you need to be?
“Yes any NFCC can join. So far all the riders that I know of have joined the first wave by putting down an expected finishing time of of sub 4hrs. Don’t worry if that sounds an intimidating time though as virtually nobody actually finished close to 4hrs last year. I finished in 4.13 and was in pretty good form on the day, certainly felt like i was in the right wave.”
Q: If anyone is interested, how do they go about joining in?
“Anyone wanting to join should just sign up for the race, you can join the ‘team’ by requesting to join NFCC and use the password NFCC. Also put sub 4hrs as your expected finish time. If you would prefer to start further back in the field, just put down a slower estimated finishing time.”
They say great minds think alike and Adam Conti, who also took part in Velothon 2017 has similar advice:
“My advice would be to get away with the earlier groups to avoid congestion on the climbs. Also don’t go too deep on The Tumble, or Caerphilly Mountain could easily get the better of you later on.”
We hope to make a weekend of it, stay in Cardiff on Saturday night and have a team evening dinner. Its not a race but I don’t imagine many people will have much left on Sunday afternoon. It will be great if we can ride around as a group and most of the riders so far are of a similar standard.
More importantly though, we’d love this to be a big club event with lots of riders from across the club. So if other members wish to join, we can split into two groups if need be or riders can make their own way around. The NFCC’s team’s time will be calculated using the times of the first three riders so if someone has a bad day, it shouldn’t matter. Let’s all help make this a special weekend.
The route can be found here: https://www.strava.com/routes/12047220
Sign up here: http://www.velothon.com/events/velothon-wales#axzz57mH6a5mg
Most of the riders so far are staying the Saturday night at Travelodge Whitchurch: https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/450/Cardiff-Whitchurch-hotel . If this becomes full, we can discuss other accommodation and meet up for the evening meal.
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There might be roadworks on the ipley cross junction. We will check when posting signs tonight, if still in road will run event as 7mile course. Down to the 25 finish by king’s hat. Start times below: