Abergavenny Festival of Cycling

C C Abergavenny Promotions, Red House, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, NP7 9UU, Wales

Abergavenny Festival of Cycling has grown into one of the most established events on the Welsh and UK sporting calendar and is a celebration of everything to do with riding the bike.

Cycling's popularity in recent years has seen thousands of people from across the country flock to the town to experience the sport.

The Festival of Cycling was the first to include a sportive event which climbed the famous Tumble Mountain within its programme, which thousands of amateur riders have ascended as part of the Iron Mountain Sportif.

The Festival is a mixture of fun and real competitive action and has seen the biggest stars of the sport riding across the beautiful countryside of Monmouthshire and through the streets of the tightly-packed market town.

It was revived by organiser Bill Owen eight years ago and, from a weekend format that included - and still does include - high-octane street riding in the shape of the Town Centre Criterium, the Iron Mountain Sportif and the showpiece Grand Prix of Wales, it has grown to a week of many and varied events both in and out of the saddle.

The Festival has included club runs, a tough Hill Climb event and a Fringe Festival which incorporates film nights of the best cycling movies and a weekend dinner which attract some of the most popular names in the sport.

Owen has successfully brought the British Cycling National Road Race Championships to the Festival and which has seen stars such as Olympic champions Nicole Cooke, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas plus Tour de France winner Chris Froome and stage winners like David Millar compete for the converted national crown.

Sir Bradley himself commented after winning the 2014 Time Trial Championship that the team raised the bar for the organisation of a British Championship.

The Sportif is the annual chance for fun riders and those cyclists who want to test themselves, to try out all or part of the one hundred miles route ridden by the stars at one of the most well-marshalled and serviced mass participation cycling events in the UK.

The Abergavenny Festival of Cycling was awarded in 2013 the British Cycling best organized event (2014 was Championship year) which is predominantly about having fun and celebrating the sport that has become a national obsession with spectators and participants alike.

Keep in touch with the Festival of Cycling on Facebook and Twitter and enjoy Wales' original and best Sportif.