150km | 3600m Climbing
The Cymru MTB Classic is a three-day stage race, covering 150km with 3600m of climbing, for riders looking to test their skills and endurance against Wales’ craggy terrain. While the route’s looped stages are mostly fast and flowing through the countryside, riders can expect to encounter exciting trails, thrill-inducing bike parks, and a visit to the spiritual home of mountain biking in the UK, the Coed-y-Brenin forest.
Most of the countryside has previously been inaccessible for a timed race format event, so, for the very first time, riders are able to explore an extensive network of trails and bridle paths with outstanding natural beauty, rugged landscapes, craggy peaks and stunning lakes, returning to a single event host town of Dolgellau, Gweynedd County, after each stage.
46km 1000m Climbing
Day one’s route is a huge loop circling the extinct volcano of Rhobell Fawr. Leaving Dolgellau, riders quickly find themselves climbing into the farmland hills and forests north of the town, hitting the highest point of day one 16km into the stage with Rhobell Fawr looming large on their West.
From there the spectacular views continue downhill through tracks and bridleways dropping into Cwm Hasgen near the source of the Mawddach river, before picking up the rocky Roman road Sarn Helen. After passing the halfway point riders are treated to their first taste of Coed-y-Brenin bike park to test the skills and appetite for speed on single track downhill trails. The final miles take in a steady descent along the Mawddach valley, on quiet back roads returning to the stage finish line in Dolgellau.
56km 1500m Climbing
Heading south from Dolgellau riders are straight into the climbs with over 400m of ascent in the first few kilometres, crossing the foothills of Cadair Idris. The reward is a fast descent through forest tracks, passing the Aberllefenni slate quarry and the quiet village of Corris before climbing again into the Dyfi Forest and taking on one of the longest single-track descents in the UK.
From there more flowing forest trail awaits, with some big climbs and challenging descents, with awesome views of the entire Cadair Idris mountain range. Riders will need to conserve energy for the final challenging climb over the aptly named Fron Fawr (Big Hill) before the descent back into Dolgellau.
48km 1100m Climbing
Coed y Brenin
Riders will bid farewell to Dolgellau for the final time of the event during Stage 3 as they prepare for a Grand Finale befitting of a celebration. There’s no shortage of climbing on this final stage, with a big climb straight from the start up to and over the Bwlch Goriward pass. The trail then drops past goldmines and waterfalls into the UK’s spiritual home of mountain biking, Coed-y-Brenin Forest, with the first purpose-built trail centre for mountain biking in the UK.
Teams will enjoy some of the best and toughest singletrack trails that the centre has to offer before climbing out of the forest into the shadow of the Rhinog mountain range, then dropping through Cwm Mynach (the Welsh Rainforest) and over the picturesque Penmaenpool wooden bridge on their race to claim the Cymru MTB Classic finisher’s medal.