Wales to host pro one-day race in 2012

Lars Boom and Geraint Thomas on Caerphilly Mountain, Tour of Britain 2011, stage four

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

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