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Forecast improving for tomorrow's Wiggle Dragon Ride but organisers are prepared should weather turn ugly

Thousands expected to tackle monster Welsh climbs on longer, harder new format route

With the less than 12 hours to the start of The Wiggle Dragon Ride the weather forecast for the South Wales area seems to be improving and there's even the chance that riders could get around without getting wet. Maybe.

In recent days Wales and the west of England have endured extremely wet and windy weather but as the start time nears press predictions of a wet and windy weekend for the Wales and the West Country seem to be receding slightly with the weather more likely to turn ugly on Monday than Sunday.

That said, there is still a fair chance of some rain at some point. Either way, the event organisers are taking no risks and have informed that a number of contingency plans are in place in case the forecasts prove over-optimistic.

The Dragon, which this year is the only UK sportive in the UCI Golden Bike World Series (we're guessing that means you'd better not forget your helmet), everyone who completes the ride will get a UCI Gold bike Medal. The Dragon Ride is also celebrating its first year based at Margam Park just outside Port Talbot. Team GB sprinter Matt Crampton will start the ride bright and early tomorrow morning.

This year's Dragon Ride will feature new climbs and new routes with both the Gran Fondo and the Medio Fondo routes being both longer and featuring more climbing than last year - and while the longer routes have got longer, the shorter Corto route has got shorter - although there is 20m more climbing.

The Gran Fondo route will include Black Mountain and the return of the “hill with no name”, (Bryn Melyn or Devil’s elbow) and these ascents will be scaled in addition to the signature climbs of the Bwlch and Rhigos, plus Cimla and Cray. All of these will run in the opposite direction compared to recent years. 

Medio Fondo entrants will take on Cimla, the Rhigos and the Bwlch as well as Coelbren and Glynneath Bank.

The Corto Route will essentially be a circuit of Margam Mountain at 37km and 430m of climbing.'s Big Dave Atkinson will be amongst the thousands of riders tackling the Dragon tomorrow - straight back from his holidays and out on his bike - that's dedication. He'll be hoping that his underwater cycling skills honed as a two time world bog snorkeling champion won't be called in to action by the weather.

Good luck to everyone taking part and here's hoping for clear skys and dry roads… and if you see Dave, give him a wave.

Finally, it's worth knowing that the Wiggle Dragon Ride 2012 is being held in support of The Prostate Cancer Charity. Anyone concerned about prostate cancer can call The Prostate Cancer Charity's free and confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383. The Helpline is staffed by specialist nurses and is open from 10am to 4pm on Monday to Friday and from 7 to 9pm on Wednesdays. Alternatively please visit

You can find out more information about the Wiggle Dragon Ride at's founder and first editor, nowadays to be found riding a spreadsheet. Tony's journey in cycling media started in 1997 as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning - finally handing on the reins in 2021 to Jack Sexty. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes, though he'd like to own a carbon bike one day.

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therevokid | 1023 posts | 11 years ago

ow ... ow .... oooowwwwww - those are big hills !
And as for the little blighter coming out of Maesteg ... !!

medio in 6:51 ... oh well at least I got round  1
loved the "supporters" in the smaller villages - very nice
indeed  4

dave atkinson | 6732 posts | 11 years ago

not sure i managed that. not a great day at the office. 9:36 so at least i wasn't in double figures for the hours, eh  1

new course is a bitch. really tough. the drag up black mountain near the start goes on forever, the devil's elbow is literally no fun at all and the rhigos/bwlch double whammy right at the end is just enough to finish you off. going south you get to see the whole of both of those climbs snaking up the mountain, which is a nice psychological bonus. not.

organisation-wise it was a lot smoother than other years and margam's a much better venue than pencoed. blog to come...

Raleigh | 1666 posts | 11 years ago



Do us proud yeah!

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