Wales is set to host a professional one-day race in 2012. ‘Velothon Britain’ is pencilled to take place on 13 May 2012, taking in a proposed route around South Wales.

Starting off as a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) 1.2-ranked race, organisers are aiming for top-tier WorldTour status by 2014.

The event is being organised by British Cycling and Upsolut Sports UK, a subsidiary of Upsolut Sports AG who organise the Vattenfall Cyclassics WorldTour event and the Skoda Velothon Berlin. It has the backing of the Welsh Government, who are keen to see a top-level, one-day sporting event run in Wales.

Although the British event is still in the planning stages, it will mirror the format of the Berlin event with a professional race accompanying cyclo-sportives of 60 and 120km plus family and children’s rides on closed roads.

The currently proposed route includes Cardiff, Newport, Pontypool, Powys, Ebbw Vale and Caerphilly. This year, a stage of the Tour of Britain ran from Welshpool to Caerphilly and attracted large numbers of spectators.  

This all-inclusive format has a number of benefits, not least that the sportives and family rides will help to offset the huge cost of hosting a professional bike race. The event also fits in with British Cycling’s aim to get more people on bikes and to promote cycling at grass-roots level – and with Britain’s elevated status as a leading cycling nation.

In its opening year, Velothon Berlin attracted 10,000 participants. This year’s pro race included teams from WorldTour squads Garmin-Cervelo, Leopard-Trek, BMC, HTC-Highroad, Omega Pharma-Lotto and Vacansoleil. It was won by Skil-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel.

At time of writing, the Velothon Britain website contains only a promotional video outlining the aim of the event. The event is currently listed in the UCI’s Europe Tour calendar as ‘Velothon Wales’.

Britain hosts two other events on the 2012 UCI Europe Tour calendar, the Rutland Melton CiCLE Classic on April 29 and the Tour of Britain, September 9-16.

External link



Velothon Britain website

  • Andrew

    First this, then maybe… The Tour de Cymru :)

  • Mark Jones

    This is great news and I hope we will see more UCI one-day races in the future. Hopefully this will attract big crowds from South Wales and I know I will plan to make the trip from Bristol so I’m sure others will do the same.

  • Simon E

    geoff,

    North Wales is wonderful – for grimpeurs, at least – but the South has much greater population, a much larger cycling scene plus better accomodation and facilities for an event like this. But maybe one day….

    This really is great news for UK road racing.

  • dai bananas brother

    In southwalian speak…….Brrrrilllliannnntttt!!!! Dai’s missus can’t wait to see what Tommy Voeckler makes of the hairpinned climb out of Abertysswg up to the old Cholera Cemetery – should they go that way – and at the same time ahe advises all concerned to watch out for the notoriously vicious dogs on the descent through Hilltop to Ebbw Vale and advises any stragglers to make sure they have a sturdy pump with them to ward off attacks. She is also putting her dog into training to deal with that bloke who commentates for the european channel and has driven us all mad through what was otherwise the best summer of bike racing on record.

  • geoff gartrell

    Why only in South Wales??? We have some of the best cycling country in North Wales

  • Steve Wiltshire

    And please….don’t forget to include a Women’s World Class Race in Nicole Cooke’s back yard! She deserves at least that.

  • Matt

    Good on them! And hopefully only a short drive/ train journey from the West Midlands!

  • Baz

    The UK is now a major cycling nation (even more so after Copenhagen) and it’s absolutely right that we should be staging more international events so this is very good news. It would be great to see some of those events that once had uci ranking reinstated – Tour of the Cotswolds, Archer GP etc – but of course it’s largely a matter of sponsorship. If this event in Wales is a success maybe others will follow!