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Tour of Britain Comes To Rhondda Cynon Taf

Bike Rhigos

Rhondda Cynon Taf is gearing up to welcome one of the world’s leading cycling races, as the Tour of Britain 2023 makes its way through the county borough.

Some of the best cyclists in the world will take on the challenging Bwlch and Rhigos Mountains and race through Llanwonno Forestry in stage eight of the competition, which runs from Margam Country Park to Caerphilly.

Many residents may remember when beautiful Aberdare Park was used as the launch location for a stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain, when riders such as Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings competed and headed off from the town.

The Tour of Britain is now in its 19th year and is part of the UCI pro series. Over 100 of the best riders from all over the world compete in the event, with thousands more spectating and cheering them on.

Cllr Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Prosperity, said: “The steep and winding mountain roads of our county borough are perfect for adventure seekers.

“We welcome cyclists from all over the world and are pleased to have a range of places where they can stay, which include safe bike storage, and are a base from which to explore. 

“The planned route for the Tour of Britain takes you through some of the best scenery in South Wales, from the epic Rhigos Mountain viewpoint, from which you can see across the Brecon Beacons, to the ancient Llanwonno Forestry, which is filled with myths, legends and more”

Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure, added: “We can’t wait to see some of the best cyclists in the world make their way through Rhondda Cynon Taf during the Tour of Britain.

“People are invited to spectate safely and cheer on the riders. Who knows, you may be inspired to get on your bike too? 

“We have a range of routes available, as well as training and confidence-building opportunities for children. 

“Of course, Leisure for Life gyms are the place to be for those who want the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling, gained by use of WattBikes or even Spin classes!”

Televised live all over the globe, the large, world-class event will require some traffic and crowd control measures for the safety of the riders, the race entourage and the communities they pass through.

Short rolling road closures may be in place as the cyclists make their way through Rhondda Cynon Taf. Please follow instructions of staff on site and, as is the norm, keep an eye out for cyclists when you are driving on the road.

You can view the entire route of Stage 8 here

Why not come along and cheer on the riders as they wind their way up and down our mountain roads?

If you are feeling inspired why not get involved: 

  • Sport RCT often run free bike training sessions, including balance bikes, junior bikes and wheely-fun opportunities for little ones. They also have a series of bike routes in Rhondda Cynon Taf, with maps and videos, to inspire you.
  • Cwm Cycling is an accessible bike-riding opportunity for all the family. Choose from a range of bikes designed to suit all ages and abilities for a cycle around parks in Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Leisure for Life gyms are fitted with the latest cycling equipment, including WattBikes, which enable you to programme in a ride – you could even do stage 8 of the Tour of Britain, and follow the route yourself.
  • Or you could get in the saddle and explore beautiful Rhondda Cynon Taf by bike. There’s a reason our mountain roads were used by Geraint Thomas in his Tour De France training! We have many challenging routes and inspiring views.
  • Dare Valley Country Park is home to Gravity, the UK’s first purpose-built family bike park. Take advantage of the bike hire service, tackle the mountainside downhill tracks and use the uplift service to get you back to the top. There is even a pump track and colourful balance bike course for little ones.
  • Barry Sidings Countryside Park is home to the Bike Doctor Café and bike repair and sales shops. It also has a pump track and BMX track to try out.
  • Cwm Clydach Countryside Park has side-by-side disability bikes for hire at the Lakeside Café, which can be used to cycle on the specially-widened tracks surrounding the lake.
Posted on 01/09/2023