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7 out of 10
Correct Details

The Merlin Sportive 2014

29/06/2014 - Carmarthenshire, Wales - Sportive

Rating: Rate this Event Now
Previous Years Rating: 77.3% based on 7 reviews

Previous Years Event Ratings

Rated Event: 100.000%

FolsomBathroom wrote:

Feedstations even better this year and the arrows couldn't be faulted. I signed up quite late on the day and unfortunately there were no timing chips left. Other than that a really brilliant day!

Rated Event: 90.000%

keith powell wrote:

Great event - great day out. The organisers are improving the event every year - well done.

Rated Event: 81.030%


There were plenty of feedstops en route, the only problem was the first stop on the druid at 20 miles only had bananas and water, would have been good to have high5 or gel packs, or both at that stop, being as we were about to go up the mountain!

My only real gripe was timing, there was a clock for those who were quick enough however, we took just shy of 5 1/2 hours to get home and saw the car with clock leave. Nothing for us then, we signed back in and that was it. We had timing from our on board devices, but hardly the point.

Signage was generally okay, with the odd whoops, junctions without signs, to be fair there were one or two many of those for my liking. Tired people need to know where they are going.


All feed stops were staffed by lovely people, kind and helpful. Apart from that first stop (above) the stops were well prepared with an array of biscuits, high 5 gels and energy drink, a welcome sight as we came past.

Facilities at the start/finish were excellent with a lovely touch of hot pasta when we got back, yay! A handy goody bag was nice too.

I'm pleased to say I didn't need the sag wagon but I saw many a rider helped by the helpers on route, the police were excellent, I was very impressed to see the same policeman on the same roundabout some 4 hours later, still in good spirits, good man!

To be fair the weather was awful!!! We crossed the black mountain in ugly strong wind, rain and the descent was highly technical due to the wind and rain, but hey, who wants to be bored? Great to be out and about in the heart of Wales. I look forward to it next year, hopefully with better timing and weather? :-)

Rated Event: 51.060%


This event is spoiled by the lack of organisation at the finish, poor signage, and poor value.
The weather was drizzly and windy, so signs were hard to see and read, and crucial signs were missing near the end at the turn left up Polyn Hill, at the service entry into the gardens and right at the end into the courtyard finish area. Good job I did the race last year (when I rode straight past the courtyard because there weren't any signs!) At the courtyard this year, only my girlfriend was actually in the courtyard taking my picture - everyone else, including the organisers/marshalls were hiding in the marquee - they wouldn't even open the door into the marquee to say come this way to register your finish! It was just a bit of drizzle ladies! They got my time wrong too by 3 minutes. There was no indication whatsoever that this was the finish - no "finish" sign, no people, no clock! Two riders went past me just before the end, one of which said she was finishing the Druid ride like me, but weren't at the finish. They must have got lost because my girlfriend confirmed and described the other riders who finished before me. The goodie bag was an insult, containing a fig roll, a morrisons cereal bar, two leftover (laughed over) bottles and a fluorescent leg band from the back of the shop, however the hot meal was great.
On the web site, most people do not yet have a time and the riders aren't yet sorted by race (there were four options) or position, despite us waiting over a week for the results.
At the start, there was a big table with all our numbers on it and various sign-in charts. Fine I suppose, but all the numbers were spread about randomly so it took ages to find yours! Crazy. And then we were supplied with steel garden wire offcuts to fix the numbers to the bike - how many carbon frames did they scratch I wonder - they certainly scratched my aluminium frame.
I like the route and the friendliness of everyone but PLEASE get organised! And get remove those speed humps down the hill to the finish, just for a few hours!

Rated Event: 73.260%


4 excellent routes for all abilities. Nice relaxed and very friendly atmosphere with even the police giving encouragement to the riders, stopping traffic at junctions etc. Great to see a field of all abilities with a very high proportion of women on the event and not just the "hardened" cyclo sportive "clone" riders!

Rated Event: 83.250%


Very friendly organisers, participants, feedstation volunteers, and spectators. Longer "Druid" route at 56 miles, as opposed to the advertised 50. Weatherwise, it was torrential just before I arrived, which made me consider turning back, but it soon stopped, then brightened up for the start and was sunny and warm at the end. The start was a bit chaotic, with nobody knowing precisely where to wait or start from, and we should have had a representative of the organisers present to give advice. There were a few crucial signs missing, just after Fairfach for the right turn and right at the end for the actual finish area courtyard within the Botanic Gardens, with the finish itself being anticlimatic and, though very friendly, a little unprepared for early finishers. We could do with a more precise route map and available well before the event date. We could do with chip timing. The Botanic Gardens is a wonderful setting in many respects. Very quiet roads on the "Druid" route, probably aided by the early start. Good idea to get major cycle manufacturers involved and bring along their gorgeous bikes under marquees at the finish. I intend being back next year. Very glad I did it this year, especially as I was in the right hand lane at the end of the Motorway to do a U-turn back home once the torrent started. Thanks to the organisers - it was enjoyable, memorable and a great course.

Rated Event: 62.160%

JenniferT wrote:

Lovely event up until the long route split off on it's own - quite scenic, sociable, enjoyed the Black Mountain (tho' hated the dangerous descent).

The last 40 miles after the split though (50 as it turned out) were pretty horrible - busy roads, not that scenic, very few signs, and very few other cyclists on that route. There weren't enough "repeater" signs throughout, and the road surfaces were frequently crap.

Biggest mistake? 112 miles was actually 123...not funny when you're suffering and counting down the miles to get back "home" in.

Great feedstops - loads of them - but they started packing up a tad early. Very friendly folk all 'round - including the marshals, feedstop people, and the organisers.

If I was going to do it again, based on this year's event, I'd do the shorter Merlin 1 route, not the Merlin 2 route.

More details at if anyone's interested...


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