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New Closed Road Etape Cymru 2012 Route Announced

by Holly Blades

Human Race, organisers of the revamped Etape Cymru, have today released details of the planned route for the 2012 edition of the event, taking place on Sunday 9th September.

The Etape Cymru, which has received  some major modifications from the 2011 edition, will start from Bangor-on-Dee racecourse, situated a few miles southeast of Wrexham. Set amongst beautiful countryside, the start point is overlooked by the hills that participants will later be climbing, providing a perfect opportunity to assess the challenge ahead and soak up the pre-event atmosphere.

2012 Route Map

The change in the route will ensure  that cyclists are more spread out from the start of the ride, reducing any concerns of bunching and crowded roads.  There are also several perfectly positioned spectator points on the route, where friends and relatives can relax whilst watching the event take place.  

The challenging 92-mile route will pass by the villages of Llangollen, Carrog, and Minera, and takes in climbs of many of the tough hills in the Clwydian range, including Panorama and The Shelf.  The exposed climb up  World's End towards the end of the course will provide cyclists with fantastic views of the Welsh scenery whilst they tackle the stretch home. Much of the Etape Cymru is held in the Clwydian & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The famous Horseshoe Pass also makes a return to the route, with riders once again having the chance to measure their climbing ability against the best in the sport by taking part in the Horseshoe Challenge. 

Chris Boardman at Horseshoe Pass

Chris Boardman MBE, who has used the Horseshoe Pass climb in training throughout his career, said: "The Horseshoe Pass and the surrounding area are just stunning places to ride a bike. Being fairly local, I've used the Horseshoe Pass throughout my career and it's a real test of the form. It's a tough climb that just keeps on going but the views from the top are worth it."

He continued: "Riders of the closed-road Etape Cymru on 9th September 2012 are bound to have a great day out on the bike and will enjoy the fantastic North Wales hospitality and scenery. Good luck!"

Etape Cymru ambassador Geraint Thomas recorded a time of 14m 22s in training on the Horseshoe Pass last year, throwing down the gauntlet for all participants using the roads to train ahead of the event later this year.

"The Etape Cymru is one of the toughest closed road events in Britain and as a proud Welshman I am delighted to support it," said Thomas. "The 92-mile route offers cyclists a challenging but fabulous opportunity to enjoy our spectacular Welsh scenery in the safety of a closed road environment."

Thomas added: "Good luck to all the entrants, cycle hard, keep smiling and enjoy your day and the North Wales hospitality!"

Geraint Thomas and the Welsh scenery

The event and its road closures are supported by Wrexham and Denbighshire councils.

Mohammed Mehmet, Denbighshire County Council's Chief Executive, said: "It's great news that this national cycling event is returning to our county, which provides such a stunning and challenging course for participants."

He continued: "Denbighshire in the North Wales Borderlands is already a popular destination for many thousands of outdoor activity enthusiasts, easy to reach and varied in its offer. We look forward to welcoming even more participants and spectators to the area on 9th September 2012."

Amanda Davies of Wrexham County Borough Council, said: "Wrexham County Borough Council are happy to work with Human Race to create this national event for North Wales. Cycling has become so popular within the area and the Etape Cymru is a great way to showcase the area and wonderful scenery we are so proud to have.  The Etape Cymru 2012 promises to be a great success."

More information on the Etape Cymru route can be found on: The event will cost £55 and entries are now open.

An interactive map of the route is available at: 

1 Comment

10th September 2012 1:37pm LeslieJessop wrote:

Only need one word to describe this ride, ''BRUTAL'' but had a fantastic day. The downhills were great no worries about vehicles coming round the corners at you./