[Tour of Britain Cardiff 2017 credit Visit Wales]
For a small nation, Wales has had a huge influence in the world of cycling. Our elite cyclists of past and present include:
- Geraint Thomas MBE who rides for Team Sky, Wales and Great Britain is a 2 time gold medalist! In 2018 he became the first Welshman to win the Tour De France, one of sports toughest and greatest achievements. He also won the 70th Criterium du Dauphine in 2018.
- Nicole Cooke MBE is one of the all time greats in women's road racing. She has won the road race at the 2002 Commonwealth games, 2008 Olympics and has twice been women's road World Cup champion. If that wasn't enough she became the first Briton to win a grand tour at the 2004 Giro d'Italia Femminile.
- Elinor Barker MBE is quickly making her mark as one of our best cyclists. She is now an Olympic champion, 2 time world, and 3 time European champion in the team pursuit, as well as a world and Commonwealth champion in the points race.
- Becky James was another successful cyclist; she is a 2 time world champion in 2013 and was part of Team GB for the Rio Olympics 2016, where she became a double silver medallist.
- James Ball is a para-cyclist who brilliantly won silver in both the B&VI 1000m time trial and a B&VI Sprint at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He is also
- Owain Doull MBE has 5 gold medals to his name, including an individual Scratch race gold at the 2013 Track World Cup and an Olympic gold in the Team pursuit in Rio 2016
- Luke Rowe captained Team Sky road team at the 2017 Tour de France and has won a number of events himself.
Jon Mould won a gutsy silver in a sprint finish at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Mould also has the record of 11 wins in the UK Tour Series.
Welshman Sir David Brailsford has to be mentioned as the coach behind the success of much of the Welsh and British success over recent years. He has been the performance director for British Cycling and the general manager for Team Sky. Under his stewardship, the UK has won 105 World Championship medals, including 50 gold, 30 Olympic and 49 Paralympic medals and for Team Sky he has directed the many tour wins.
The highly successful British Olympic and Paralympic cycling teams were based at the Velodrome prior to London 2012 and Rio 2016
Newport International Sports Village (NISV) houses the Wales National Velodrome. The opening of the National Velodrome in Newport was a big step forward for cycling in Wales. It is an indoor facility of international standard and has helped move Welsh cycling onto a new level. The ability to train throughout the year is of great benefit to Welsh cyclists in preparation for major championships. You’ll also find South-East Wales regional pool, a Tennis Centre and Newport Athletics Stadium at NISV.
Many major cycling events come to Wales; the Tour of Britain often passes through and Cardiff hosted the final stage of the Tour in September 2017 and the 2018 tour will start in Wales. The Velothon is also an annual event, one of the largest closed road race for both amateurs and professionals (although the pros have to cycle a little further)
During the Velothon each year, you will see teams of cyclists on Welsh roads practising and preparing, with more and more cycle paths becoming available this couldn’t be easier. Have a look at our cycling routes to find out more. Some of the cyclists will be taking part in Etape Eryri, another great event.
If a slick road bike is not your thing then there are plenty of terrains to test your mountain bike out on in our National Parks or in Bike Park Wales, which has been dubbed the number one bike park in the UK! No wonder Wales is a popular choice for those on two wheels.
Hailed as one of the toughest downhill mountain bike races in the world, the fourth edition of Red Bull Hardline returned to the hills of Dyfi Valley last year in the north of Wales. The intense course, built by Dan Atherton, combines gap jumps, giant slab rolls, and tight wood sections. It’s tough on mind, body and bike and it was a great showcase of what Wales can offer for elite cycling events.
The Battle of the Beach an off road event is another chance to challenge your bike skills.