Latest News

Historical 'Arch' KoM added to Continental Welsh Wild West Sportive

by Nick Gregory

Riders on the 2014 Continental Welsh Wild West sportive will have the added experience of cresting the historical 'Hafod Arch' on one of the routes major climbs.

This three kilometre slog from Devils Bridge towards Cwmystwyth is one of the highlights of the sportive which takes place on Sunday May 25th, entirely within the county limits of Ceredigion in Mid Wales.


Picture courtesy of Douglas Law

Both the 62 mile Mynach (Monk) and 103 mile Cawr (Giant) routes will summit the 'Arch', last used in a professional bike race at the 1989 professional Tour of Wales as a King of the Mountain (KoM) point on the B4574 road.

Built by Thomas Johnes of Hafod in 1810 to mark the Golden Jubilee of George III, the old masonry arch spans the road at mile 35 of the sportive routes and marks the spot for a new KoM for the event and also marks the second feed of the day at the Forestry Centre car park, an immediate left after cresting the summit at 1312 feet and climbing at an average gradient of 6%.

Riders will be given a time split for riding 'Up the Arch' as part of their overall result, with spot prizes on offer.

Both 62 & 103 mile routes also tackle the infamous 'Nant y Moch' climb early on in the sportive, a 3 ½ mile ascent of unclassified roads with only sheep & cattle grids for company.

The longer Cawr route eventually peels away south, via Tregaron, Lampeter and Talsarn where the infamous 'Tychrug' climb is tackled, a 2.3 miler which climbs to 1,104 feet.

The final sting in the tail is again a steady 3.2 miler at Llanfihangel y Creuddyn. The 4.9% climb up to 848 feet will tell on rider's legs which will already have 84 miles in them by this time.

Forming the final day of the Aberystwyth Cycle Festival which will have already hosted a round of the 2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series (Friday), and the Conquer the Cliff Urban Downhill (Saturday), Sundays sportive is fully supported by sponsors Continental Tyres.  Four service vehicles plus two branded BMW motorbikes will be provided for a quick response to any riders with technical issues. All turns & junctions are marshalled and three feed stations will provide the necessary energy drinks and gels, not to mention Bara Brith and Welsh cakes.


The Welsh Wild West Sportive cycle ride took in some stunning Ceredigion coastal scenery

Timing is provided by HS Sports and the event is fully sanctioned by British Cycling and online entry is available here.