Nowadays, cycling is right up there with football, rugby and cricket as one of the UK’s top-grade sports. You need look no further than last year’s summer Olympics and Team GB’s success at the velodrome for confirmation of its ever-growing popularity.
This July Abergavenny once again plays host to a major national cycling event – The Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, which takes place between 9th and 14th July. This year’s festival is bigger than ever with a packed programme of events both on and off the bike. Saturday 13th July’s Iron Man Sportif is the centerpiece of the festival, when families and friends can take to their bikes and ride the course taken by stars like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Olympic Gold medalist Geraint Thomas.
This year, participants in the Sportif will be joined by cycling legend, Shane Sutton, who lead Team GB to a gold rush in the 2012 Olympic Games. The 55-year-old former Welsh national team coach said Monmouthshire is one of the biggest centres for cycling in the UK, saying: “There is so much in the favour of the area. There is less congestion, you have a great number of environments to ride – flat, hilly, you can get whatever you want. And it has been like the mecca of cycling not just in Wales but in Great Britain for many years. From the days of running national championships down there – the support of these in that area alone is incredible – and I think you will see the same in this event as well that people will come out and have fun.”
For those less inclined to saddle up, the Festival will prove to be exciting, colourful and fabulous for spectators. The Friday and Sunday events are set to be televised, so keep an eye out in the television schedules, if you can’t make it to the events themselves.
Do be aware that there are a number of road closures occurring during the festival, but rest assured that Abergavenny will definitely be open for business and there’s sure to be a great buzz and atmosphere about the place. Who said you needed to head to the Tour de France for all this two-wheeled excitement? You need simply to step outside your front door.
We have included details below concerning road closures and car parking, but please also check online for further information. More details about the Festival including the full programme and fringe events can be found at www.abergavennyfestivalofcycling.co.uk
Important information regarding road closures and car parking
On Sunday 14th July, take a minute to plan your trip into/out of the town as some parts of the Mardy and the roads within the finish circuit will be closed to vehicle traffic. With a bit of pre planning cars can be parked outside this secure area if you need to get out during the road closure times. The car parks inside the circuit will be closed at certain times on Sunday but the town car parks of Castle Street (with the exception of Byfield on Friday evening) are all open. Additional car parking is also available in the Lower Meadow overflow car park at Pen y Pound.
On Sunday most car parks in Abergavenny will be open until noon when those access roads are closed, although it is advisable not to leave it to the last minute, as you could be caught out. Access to Castle St. Car Park will only be via Castle St. in the morning but at 1:00pm access will also be open via Tudor St. as well. Additional car parking will also be in the Lower Meadow car park at Pen y Pound.
Visitors to the Town are advised to use Castle St. and Castle Meadows car parks. If you have watched the race on the Tumble Mountain you have plenty of time to get back to Abergavenny to watch the race on the circuits in the town centre. Enter Abergavenny via Llanfoist, (first junction off the Heads of the Valleys road) and spectator parking arrows will guide you to the Castle St. and also the overflow Car park. The organization apologizes for any inconvenience this might cause.
Road Closures – 10th – 14th July 2013
Abergavenny Hill Climb
Wednesday 10th July: 18:00 – 21:00
- Hill Rd.
- Pen-y-Pound above its junction with Deri Lane and Chain Rd.
Wales Open Criterium
Friday 12th July 2013 16:00 – 24:00
- Castle Street from its junction with Cross Street to Neville Street. Accredited Marshals will operate a two way system over the road adjacent to the Angel Hotel.
- Tudor Street from the junction with Nevill Street to Baker Street .
- Baker Street, Frogmore Street, High Street, Nevill Street
Grand Prix of Wales & Para Grand Prix of Wales
Sunday 14th July 2013 05:00 – 18:00
- Tudor Street (Half the Carriageway) from junction with Nevill Street to Baker Street
- Baker Street
- Frogmore Street
- High Street
- Nevill Street
- Cross Street
- St. John’s Street/St.John’s Square
Sunday 14th July 2013 11:00 – 17:00
- A40 Park Road Junction with Park Ave and Brecon Rd. (Monument)(Brecon Rd to Pen-y-Pound subject to Traffic Lights)
- Park Avenue, Hereford Rd from its junction with A40 and Grosvenor Rd.
Sunday 14th July 2013 12:00 – 16:00
- Hereford Rd from its junction with Grosvenor Rd. and its junction at Llantilio Pertholey
- Unclassified road from Llantilio Pertholey to Wernddu B4521
- B4521 Wernddu to its junction (Grosvenor Road)
- Hereford Road from its junction with Cross St. to Park Road