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AXED: Wiggle Etape Cymru 2015 Cancelled Due to Lack of Entries

by Nick Gregory

GB Flag

The Wiggle Etape Cymru, one of the foremost sportives in Britain, has been cancelled due to lack of entries. The event was due to take place on Sunday 13 September from Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse in Wrexham, North Wales. 

As Cyclosport reported earlier in the year, the event had already been downgraded from a closed road event to a regular sportivehowever, organisers Human Race Events had hoped that the addition of two extra routes would help sustain the event under its new guise. 

Etape Cymru has long been a source of a mixed emotions in the local area. In 2013 saboteurs placed tacks and nails on the route during the event in protest. However, last year's edition went off without incident, despite claims from a Penycae councillor in the run up that Etape Cymru-related road closures had caused "four years of hell" for local residents.  

In reaction to the previous news that the event would now be held on open roads, another local councillor, Paul Pemberton - who had been outspoken in his criticism of the closures - was quoted as saying:

"I am pleased they are not moving out of the area completely because the event brings a lot of money into the economy and I am glad they have listened to our concerns. There were a lot of people in my ward who were trapped in their homes and it is good the organisers have had the common sense to listen us."  

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However, it appears to have become a case of be careful what you wish for, as Human Race have now issued the following statement about the event, which was estimated to have contributed approximately £500,000 to the regional economy each year: 

We are sorry to announce that we have made the decision to cancel the Wiggle Etape Cymru. 

It is a significant investment for Human Race to host a quality event on this scale, and at this point we don't currently have the minimum level of entries we require to continue our ambitious plans. 

We are reluctant to reduce the standards of participant experience in any way, therefore, after discussions with the partners involved in creating the event, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the event. 

Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, and we look forward to seeing you at another event soon. 

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The news will come as a huge blow to many local charities who benefited from Etape Cymru fundraising, including Wrexham-based Nightingale House Hospice. 

Prior to last year's event the charity's fundraising and events manager, Margaret Hollings said: "The hospice is proud to be local charity partner to the Wiggle Etape Cymru... It is a hugely successful local event for Nightingale House, attracting 55 participants from Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire."  

She continued: "Judging by the success of the previous two years, the hospice could expect to benefit from more than £10,000 in sponsorship. This makes a real difference, funding local palliative care. We cannot thank the organisers Human Race enough for their support."  

Human Race are not the only event organisers to cancel a closed road sportive this year, IMG Challenger World also pulled the plug on the 2015 Etape Pennines - England's first closed road sportive - due to lack of interest and local opposition.  

However, in more positive news 2015 has also seen the introduction of new closed-road sportives including Velothon Wales, and next weekend Prudential RideLondon will once again hit the streets of the capital with more participants than ever. Nevertheless, the future of closed road cycling events in Britain seems mixed.

For more information on all Human Race Events sportives visit www.humanrace.co.uk