Velothon Wales

Just wanted to voice my frustration at the first edition of the Velothon Wales, Britain's second 1.1 race after the London–Surrey Classic, and only one of four .1/HC races along with the Tours of Britain and Yorkshire.

The first problem is amateur organisation. Googling the event brings up numerous negative stories surrounding the organisers failing to consult local communities on the course. This is not good.

Secondly, the nature of the event, and the organisers' attitude towards it: there was a sportive before the pro race that got 10x as much coverage as the pro race, which the organisers seemed not to care much about, or have any information about. Their twitter account recommended following some British conti teams to keep updated. They even tweeted at one point: "Apparently the lead pack are almost certainly going to be caught. Ladies and gents, we're in for a sprint finish!" (https://twitter.com/VelothonWales/status/610114195271610368) How the hell does the event's own twitter account not know the state of the race, and need to rely on "apparently"? And it turned out the tweet wasn't even true, three breakaway riders kept a 50 second advantage to the finish! And this is another in the pattern of British races seeming to care more about token MAMIL involvement than actual racing.

Finally, the startlist. A 1.1 race in Britain ought to attract reasonable names. The London-Surrey Classic last year had teams including Sky, Cannondale, OPQS, BMC, Belkin, Orica, and Giant, and had riders including Swift, Stannard, Viviani, Bennett, Alaphilippe, Renshaw, Gilbert, ten Dam, Ewan, and the Yates twins. It came straight after the Tour de France, and wasn't the hardest ridden race of all time, but at least there were plenty of names for cycling fans to look out for. Velothon Wales is a different story. Despite being a sister race to Velothon Berlin, which has attracted good winners (Kittel x 2, Greipel, Kreder, Sinkeldam), Velothon Wales had a terrible startlist. I don't think I'm being overly harsh (http://www.procyclingstats.com/race/Velothon_Wales_2015-startlist) on any of the others when I say Russell Downing, Ed Clancy and Ignatas Konovalovas were the biggest names there. And no offence to them but that's terrible for an inaugural 1.1 race in a developing cycling nation (a BRIC of cycling, if you will). Of course this is the situation you may be liable to face if you hold a race in the middle of two WT races (!). But that's not a good enough excuse. Another 1.1, Rund um Koln was held today as well and featured Boonen, Kittel, Hofland, Ciolek, Goss, and others.

The route was challenging, and included some climbs the Tour of Britain has apparently visited in the past. It could be a nice little one-day race in the future. But for 2015, the organisers blew it.
 
Here's a problem: I, who spend ages combing the internet for the goings on in small races, and who would have been quite interested to see the course of this since it sounds a LOT more interesting than the route of the London race (did it have that Meerane-like cobbled climb from the 2010 Tour of Britain?), had no idea it was going on. I remember some vague stuff about its existence a while ago, but since then nothing.

Sure, it's a busy time for races so a lot of pro teams already have people in France and Switzerland so only slim pickings here, but still, that's an anæmic startlist considering the relatively high level of the race in terms of UCI status.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Here's a problem: I, who spend ages combing the internet for the goings on in small races, and who would have been quite interested to see the course of this since it sounds a LOT more interesting than the route of the London race (did it have that Meerane-like cobbled climb from the 2010 Tour of Britain?), had no idea it was going on. I remember some vague stuff about its existence a while ago, but since then nothing.

Sure, it's a busy time for races so a lot of pro teams already have people in France and Switzerland so only slim pickings here, but still, that's an anæmic startlist considering the relatively high level of the race in terms of UCI status.
http://www.velothon-wales.co.uk/en/

I remember thinking that it's obvious where the priorities are after checking the page.

But I suppose the sportive is the one that makes the money so it makes some sense
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
Here's a problem: I, who spend ages combing the internet for the goings on in small races, and who would have been quite interested to see the course of this since it sounds a LOT more interesting than the route of the London race (did it have that Meerane-like cobbled climb from the 2010 Tour of Britain?), had no idea it was going on. I remember some vague stuff about its existence a while ago, but since then nothing.
I wish I knew. Since I'm a big fan of Britain having more races, I've checked the website several times since it was announced maybe a year ago, and they've long since made MAMIL applications for 2016(!) easier to access than any detailed look at the route. We can find out they do two laps of the Tumble and Caerphilly Mountain, and "This will take the total distance to 194km, with roughly 2481m (8140ft) of climbing". If you're a MAMIL hoping to take part you seemingly have to download some zip file to see it. Very peculiar organisation, made all the stranger for the fact this is allegedly one of the "UCI Velothon Majors" http://www.velothon-majors.com/en/, so really ought to know what the hell is going on.
 
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TMP402 said:
lemon cheese cake said:
From what I gather the national youth series (U16, U14 etc) were more exciting than today's racing. Who won?
Martin Mortensen of Cult Energy.
Never heard of him!

To help the race here is what i'd do:

In the UK there is a Bank Holiday on the final weekend of August.
So on the Friday evening, Crits for the Elite Men, Elite women and the National Youth Series take place in Cardiff. On the Saturday morning, the sportive rides on the course take place. In the afternoon, the Elite Men and Women race around South Wales.
On the Sunday morning in London, the Ridelondon Freecycle takes place. In the evening, the Ridelondon GP for Elite Men, Elite Women, Handcyclists and the National Youth Series take place. On the Bank Holiday Monday morning, the Ridelondon 100 takes place. In the Afternoon, the Elite Men and Women race the Ridelondon Classic.

By the way the crits include the riders from the next day road races.

A perfect weekend of British Cycling!
 
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Inquitus said:
roundabout said:
Okay, tougher question.

Who finished second
Noone knows, I wanted to see how Eddie Dunbar got on but cant find results beyond the winner for love nor money!
well this just confirms what a f***ing clownshoes s***show this was. Fancy having a f***ing 1.1 event in such a media-heavy country as the UK and not knowing who f***ing came where.
 
Re: Re:

lemon cheese cake said:
TMP402 said:
lemon cheese cake said:
From what I gather the national youth series (U16, U14 etc) were more exciting than today's racing. Who won?
Martin Mortensen of Cult Energy.
Never heard of him!

To help the race here is what i'd do:

In the UK there is a Bank Holiday on the final weekend of August.
So on the Friday evening, Crits for the Elite Men, Elite women and the National Youth Series take place in Cardiff. On the Saturday morning, the sportive rides on the course take place. In the afternoon, the Elite Men and Women race around South Wales.
On the Sunday morning in London, the Ridelondon Freecycle takes place. In the evening, the Ridelondon GP for Elite Men, Elite Women, Handcyclists and the National Youth Series take place. On the Bank Holiday Monday morning, the Ridelondon 100 takes place. In the Afternoon, the Elite Men and Women race the Ridelondon Classic.

By the way the crits include the riders from the next day road races.

A perfect weekend of British Cycling!
Not sure about road closures on a saturday or Bank Holiday Weekend
 
It's Velothon Wales time. No Team Sky at one of the very few British races, again. Of all the races with terrible start lists and minimal coverage, this might have the most unexploited potential. Sad.
 
From what I can gather, the parcours is not the problem, this isn't an unexploited potential race along the lines of, say, Bayern Rundfahrt or the Österreichrundfahrt. Instead, they're seemingly doing a poor job of attracting teams to the start line, and the coverage is lacking so that we can't find out what's going on. I think this should maybe be moved to be close to the Tour de Yorkshire to at least try to attract a couple of the top 2 tier teams that do that to stay in Britain to do it.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
From what I can gather, the parcours is not the problem, this isn't an unexploited potential race along the lines of, say, Bayern Rundfahrt or the Österreichrundfahrt. Instead, they're seemingly doing a poor job of attracting teams to the start line, and the coverage is lacking so that we can't find out what's going on. I think this should maybe be moved to be close to the Tour de Yorkshire to at least try to attract a couple of the top 2 tier teams that do that to stay in Britain to do it.
I mostly agree - but I'd add Wales has a lot of terrain to explore. You could make an absolutely brutal GP Miguel Indurain or de Wallonie type race in Snowdonia and ending in Harlech with a climb up to Harlech Castle; one road up features gradients of 25%, and another road gets up to 40%. If you're going to forsake that for a merely okay-ish Welsh race at least make sure it's well promoted FFS.
 
Sep 30, 2014
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You can barely tell there's a pro race on, it's most disappointing.

Edit - Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) took it. He won the Lincoln GP the other day too, mugging Russell Downing on the line.
 
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TMP402 said:
Libertine Seguros said:
From what I can gather, the parcours is not the problem, this isn't an unexploited potential race along the lines of, say, Bayern Rundfahrt or the Österreichrundfahrt. Instead, they're seemingly doing a poor job of attracting teams to the start line, and the coverage is lacking so that we can't find out what's going on. I think this should maybe be moved to be close to the Tour de Yorkshire to at least try to attract a couple of the top 2 tier teams that do that to stay in Britain to do it.
I mostly agree - but I'd add Wales has a lot of terrain to explore. You could make an absolutely brutal GP Miguel Indurain or de Wallonie type race in Snowdonia and ending in Harlech with a climb up to Harlech Castle; one road up features gradients of 25%, and another road gets up to 40%. If you're going to forsake that for a merely okay-ish Welsh race at least make sure it's well promoted FFS.
I was going to say something about them wanting to be around Cardiff or Swansea for the sake of sponsors and money, but if they aren't going to actually promote the race then it becomes irrelevant to be near an urban centre so they may as well race through Snowdonia and make it a tough race anyway.
 

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