The Dragon Ride
The Dragon Ride
The sun shone on the Wiggle Dragon Ride as it celebrated its tenth anniversary and more than 4000 riders descended on Margam Country Park in Port Talbot, South Wales ready to tame the Dragon.
3653 riders stepped up to the challenge of the Gran Fondo distance, which sees cyclists cover a grueling 210 kms and 3,350 metres of climbing. The warm conditions – up to 24 degrees – added to the challenge for the riders who took advantage of Welsh Rarebit and PowerBar supplies at the feed stations to provide much needed energy, plus some chilled Vita Coco to re-hydrate them at the finish line.
The Medio Fondo distance attracted 1168 cyclists on the 128 km route though the beautiful Welsh valleys and mountains. Despite the shorter route there was still a climb of 1875 metres to test the legs of the cyclists though many commented that it was worth it to enjoy the beautiful Welsh scenery at the peak.
In addition to this, 200 ladies took part in the first ever Cycletta at the Wiggle Dragon Ride. The ladies took on a challenging, hilly route of 38 km. This new element to the Wiggle Dragon Ride has replaced the previous Corto distance and is the most challenging of all the Cycletta events, a series which takes place nationwide and has attracted a mix of experienced cyclists and new-comers to the sport, all looking for a challenge.
Many riders relished the opportunity to tackle the long, steep climbs of the Welsh mountains which are the closest you’ll get to Alpine climbs in Britain, giving riders relentless climbing at some of the toughest points of the course.
Lots of participants also took the opportunity to raise money for the official charity of the Wiggle Dragon Ride, Prostate Cancer UK.
Famous faces taking part in this year’s Wiggle Dragon Ride included ex-rugby player Austin Healey who cycled on a Giant Defy Advanced SL. “The Dragon Ride is the best sportive around,” the former English international commented. “Even though it is in Wales!” he added with a wry smile. “Since I finished playing rugby I really got into cycling. It’s easy on the joints and I enjoy that real camaraderie that comes with going out on a long bike ride with mates.”
Five cyclists were recognised by Human Race this weekend for having successfully completed all 10 years of the Dragon Ride. They were presented with limited edition 10th anniversary polo shirts to mark their dedication to the event. Andy Morgan who celebrated a decade taking part in the Wiggle Dragon Ride commented: “It definitely does get better and better every single year but it still has the same character and same sense of enjoyment.”
Legendary, Wiggle Dragon Ride founder Lou Lusardi said: “I am delighted to celebrate the 10th year of the Wiggle Dragon Ride. Little did I know that when I started the event back in 2004 with 280 cyclists that it would continue to grow to what it is today. The unparalleled scenery and challenging course is what keeps people coming back year after year.”
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race, who now organise the Wiggle Dragon Ride, said: “This year’s Wiggle Dragon Ride has been a huge success. Now in its 10th year, it is fantastic to celebrate the event which had grown into the UK’s most prestigious sportive. As we look to the next decade, we look forward to continuing a great tradition and providing world class cycling in South Wales for many years to come.”
Andrew Whillas, Sponsorship Manager at Wiggle, added: “What an amazing event – well done and congratulations to all riders! Wiggle is all about getting more people riding more often and sponsoring events like the Wiggle Dragon Ride provide a great goal for people to aim for. Wiggle is proud to have been title sponsor of the Wiggle Dragon Ride in its 10th year and hopefully we will see plenty of the same faces again next year at this iconic event.”