You are hereDragon L'Etape Wales Gran, Medio Fondo and Dragon Tour June 5th 2016

Dragon L'Etape Wales Gran, Medio Fondo and Dragon Tour June 5th 2016

By brian_perry - Posted on 08 June 2016

Dragon L'Etape Wales Gran,  Medio Fondo and Dragon Tour June 5th 2016

James Scrivener pictured at the GF

In this prestige event, Brendan Troy, James Scrivener, Martin Rogers,, Paul Gray, Stephen Crowley, Stuart Baldwin, Ranjit Bahra rode the Gran Fondo. Paul Gray was the quickest RCC rider on the day completing a few minutes under 8 hours.
Nick Treston rode the Medio Fondo.

Ranjit Bahra reports
“On Sunday 5th June I rode the Gran Fondo challenge of the Dragon Ride Le Etape Wales (143 miles, 11864 feet) for the second time. For those with a stronger constitution there was the Devil's Ride 190 miles, 15,919 including the Devil's Staircase. The weather was great, just what I like for a long, hard ride. It's the original distance a really challenging ride. The route features 3 category 5 climbs, Bwlch, Rhigos (a long haul up Penderyn) Devil's Elbow (timed climb) although by this stage I could see anyone was too bothered about challenging for a time followed by 3 other climbs. Most of the climbs are ~5-7% and very long so one can really get stuck into them (without back ache) but the Devil's Elbow quickly ramps to 8% the 14% on the hairpins and 10-12% in the mid sections. The route starts in Port Talbot, Margam Park and takes you out to Brecon and back via the Black mountains. The climbs look over breathtaking views and the descents equally challenging and hugely satisfying. The are miles of long straight descents and ascents on which you can easily hit 20mph up hill and 30+ mph down hill. The feedatations are well stocked but the 1st and 3rd had no energy drinks but water was fine. I didn't need much food, a banana, pee stop, drink stretch the back and off, max 10mins/stop except at the last where I stretched it out to 15 minutes. During the final 20 miles there were a few Devil's riders passing by only pushing 1-2 mph more but that's what makes them more hard core, I passed a few "red numbered riders" who were happy to admit they jumped ship to the Gran Fondo, no shame in that, an extra 47 miles and the Devil's Staircase ( length 1.31 km, elevation 151 meters, average gradient 12%, max gradient 25%). A great day's cycling and camaraderie”

James Scrivener
“Massive congrats to Tom Fricker who won the Dragon KoM out of 5000 odd riders!”
(Tom a local Reading rider)
“The longest ride I've ever done... So the basic plan was to take it very easy on the first few climbs, have a go at the timed climb (Devils elbow), then see what was left in the tank. But that didn't really happen...

Tom got into a nice rhythm (aka attacked) on the first long drag of a climb and I lagged behind, only catching him at the top of the second long climb because he had slowed up and waited.

After many ups and downs we reached the Devils Elbow both seemingly out of puff, but Tom absolutely smashed it to win the KoM, shouting at riders to get out of the way on his way through and clearing the way for me. Based on strava times I should be top 25, but some way of the KoM!

After about 9 litres of water, plenty of salted potatoes, and many more ups and downs we finally reached the last big climb up the black mountain. Both of us were flagging but were passed by an overly eager pink jersey cyclist early on, so used him as a fish to reel back in before the summit.

The descent was great (like all the descents on the route) but the less said about the final 30 miles the better... RCC's Paul Gray came past with about 20 miles to go, but was gone in a flash as I limped home. The legs feel okay today though! Much better than after the Velothon!”

Martin Rogers
“Tough day in the heat, and some good road support for RCC!”

Nick Treston also rode the 3 day Dragon Tour and his report follows below
"I am certainly feeling tired after the whole dragon tour. Day 1 , 90km around the Gower peninsular with some short sharp coastal climbs , 1000m in total. Fantastic scenery. Day 2 was tough , although only 93km there was 1600m of climbing including the Black Mountain and Betws. All followed by the medio fondo on the Sunday. Three days of back to back riding 336km and 5000m of climbing. Perfect weather and stunning mountain views. The tour was well organised but sheer numbers of riders on the final day meant some feed stations were rather basic in their offerings."