Event Review

REVIEW: Wiggle Wye Valley Warrior 2015

by Jennifer Trotman

GB Flag

REVIEW: Wiggle Wye Valley Warrior 2015

Date: Sunday 3 May 2015 
Distances: Short 40, Standard 79 or Epic 101 miles 
Entry fee: £23, £33, £33 
Participants: c.1300 
Start: Chepstow Racecourse, Chepstow, NP16 6BE 
Feedstops: two on Standard route 
Catering: available on site 
Timing: electronic tag on helmet. 
Signs: white arrows on orange background 
Roads: very scenic on quiet country roads. 
Photos: www.sportivephoto.com   
Goody bag: finishers medal & t-shirt 

Welcome to the Wiggle Wye Valley Warrior. Chepstow is only 45 minutes from here, so I didn't have to get up until 6:00am, although what with the wind and rain outside, I nearly rolled over and went back to sleep!  Still, I got up and drove to HQ at Chepstow Racecourse

Parking was opposite the racecourse on a large muddy gravelly sodden car park. Nice. I was not looking forward to negotiating that with the bike and cleats...but for the time being I was wearing boots and it was time to walk to registration in the racecourse building. Same old routine as ever, find your desk, get a timing chip stuck on your helmet, get a Powerbar bottle/goodies and grab a map, number and cable ties.  Easy.  Right, just time to nip to one of the many toilets and head back to the bike. 

Start pen

Tintern Abbey

Wet and blurry riders

Deciding what to wear at this time of year is a nightmare. I went for an assortment of layers and stashed the waterproof in the saddlebag in case damp became proper wet later. I thought, or hoped at least, that I had every eventuality covered! 

Time to gingerly negotiate the muddy car park, clog the cleats up with gunge, and somewhat ruefully reflect that at least the rain would wash the mud off the bike once I got going...  Over the road, and down to the start line where I was luckily straight into the next bunch being prepared to go. 

I couldn't really hear the briefing, though I doubt they had much to say that I haven't heard before, and I could see the board with the signage on, and heard the bit about route splits. I still hadn't decided which route I was going to do - the 101, the 79, or whatever the short one was. 

Deer sculpture


Goodrich Castle

And off we go. To cycle along the very beautiful but very increasingly damp Wye Valley. There's a reason it's an AONB you know.  There were carpets of bluebells, fragrant wild garlic, vibrant yellow oil seed rape, and lots of green. 

At some point it occurred to me that things looked kind of familiar, and wasn't Tintern Abbey on the route around here somewhere? I quickly looked around me, in the nick of time, to see it just about to fly by behind me on the right hand side. I retraced my tracks a little and, voilá, one damp Cistercian abbey captured for posterity. 

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Official Review

1. Feed Stops (correct foodstuffs and energy drinks, the right many, well spaced) 5 out of 10
2. Timing (correct and easy to use) 10 out of 10
3. Signage (Clear, concise, maps, profiles, route card) 9 out of 10
4. Facilities (HQ, Parking, Toilets) 9 out of 10
5. Support (Sag Wagon, Outriders) 7 out of 10
6. Friendliness / Professionalism (Sign-in, marshals, support) 7 out of 10
7. Website - ease of use (Online and postal entry, clear concise) 9 out of 10
8. The Course (Area of outstanding beauty/scenic, quiet roads, cleverly designed?) 10 out of 10
9. Would you recommend it. (Would you ride again?) 10 out of 10
Overall Rating 84.4%

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