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Aberystwyth Cycle Festival Gears Up for Fifth Anniversary this May Bank Holiday

by Nick Gregory

Aberystwyth Cycle Festival returns for a fifth year this May Bank Holiday weekend, with four action packed days planned from May 22nd through to May 25th. 

Last year's additional events such as the Constitution Hill mountain bike downhill race, and the Welsh Wild West sportive road ride seem to strike a chord with festival goers as over 12,000 spectators and competitors attended. With both events returning in 2014, subscriptions are already ahead of last year. Festival organisers are receiving enquiries from cyclists and spectators from all over the UK, as the AberCycleFest has grown to become one of the most well regarded celebrations of cycling in the country. 

It will be the National Library of Wales that will launch proceedings, with a new AberCycleFest Gala evening on Thursday May 22nd. The Sportsbooker.com sponsored evening will take place in the Drwm auditorium with a collection of archive footage of the famous Milk Race as it visited the county through the 1960's, 70's & 80's, as well as a short film about the legendary Paris-Roubaix race. Podium finisher at Paris Roubaix, and former World Cyclocross Champion, Roger Hammond will also be in attendance to answer questions from the audience. The event is free to enter and bookings are being taken by the library box office. 

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Friday 23rd May is the main feature of the festival with the welcome return of ITV4's Pearl Izumi Tour Series professional criterium race. Sixty of the UK's top professional road cyclists will battle it out around the streets of the town for one hour from 7pm in a big to gain all important series points. 

This year's race will start & finish in Pier Street and follow a clockwise route through Upper Gt. Darkgate St, Seaview Place, Promenade and back onto Pier St. Proceedings start from 2pm with the popular local schools races, followed by a Town vs Gown adult fun race and later the Aberystwyth Seafront Criteriums for serious amateur riders before the professionals take over. 

Saturdays 'Conquer the Cliff' mountain bike downhill was the big surprise of the 2013 festival, with almost 2,000 supporters lining the route at Constitution Hill on a gloriously sunny day. 2013 World Championships bronze medallist, Manon Carpenter is due to return with her Madison-Saracen team, as well as over 150 top downhillers from Wales & further afield. 

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Sunday is the mass participation day, with the Continental Welsh Wild West sportive taking place from Aberystwyth and offering three stunning routes of 28, 68 and 103 miles through the Ceredigion countryside. The ride is fully supported with mechanical back up courtesy of Continental Tyres; whilst Summit Cycles are offering a free cycle safety check in the weeks leading up to the event for any pre-entered riders. 

AberCycleFest is organised by volunteers from the town and is funded by Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion County Council, Aberystwyth Town Council & Cambrian Tyres Ltd. 

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Full route details and online entry can be found at www.abercyclefest.com.





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