The Epic Series, which organizes the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race in South Africa, is bringing marathon cross-country racing to Wales in 2022.
The Cymru MTB Classic is set to run in Gwynedd County in Southern Snowdonia from 17-19 June 2022. The race features three stages that will be raced by teams of two riders and will serve as a chance for racers to qualify for the Cape Epic.
The race will be based in Dolgellau, and the route's three days will total 150km of off-road terrain in the surrounding countryside.
“Dolgellau and Snowdonia have long been the Mecca for UK mountain biking, offering an outstanding variety of terrain and trail, from wild and remote mountain paths, ancient bridleways, old drover roads and farm tracks, to purpose-built, handcrafted single track in the UK's original trail center," said Steve Beech, route designer and course director. "In choosing trails for the Cymru MTB Classic I have kept a focus on highlighting this variety of terrain and trail against the spectacular scenery of this quieter corner of Snowdonia in Gwynedd County.”
The first stage is a 46km loop that circles the extinct Rhobell Fawr volcano and features 1,000m of climbing. In addition to climbing through farmland and forests, riders will also be able to get a taste for descending through the Coed-y-Brenin bike park.
Stage 2 starts with a 400m climb, and riders will eventually find themselves in Dyfi Forest, where they'll tackle one of the longest singletrack descents in the UK. One final climb awaits near the end of the route before descending back into town for a total of 56km and 1,500m of climbing.
The third stage starts with a long climb that reaches the day's highpoint around kilometer 20. Riders then descend into Coed-y-Brenin Forest, which features the first purpose-built trail center for mountain biking in the UK. After 48km and 1,100m of climbing, riders will cross the finish line for the final time.
“While mountain biking has been hugely popular across the UK for years, and particularly in Wales, riders have never had the chance to take on the challenges and enjoyments that an Epic Series event presents: a fully-timed, multi-day stage race in a two-person team format on home soil," said race director Dean Smith. “We have some of the best MTB trails in the world, so the next logical step is to bring the most prestigious international mountain biking series to Snowdonia, in Wales, to showcase them.”
Registration for the event opens on 4 August 2021 at 15:00 CEST at cymrumtbclassic.com