Sporting spectacle to climax at Caernarfon Castle

Thursday 12 June 2014

Competitors from across the world will cross the finish line at the site of Caernarfon Castle on Sunday 15th June as the World Heritage site hosts Etape Eryri for the first time

Cyclists outside Caernarfon Castle

Cyclists outside Caernarfon Castle

The increasingly popular Etape Eryri – The Snowdonia Cycle sportive, powered by Chain Reaction Cycles, will offer a number of adaptive bikes to help improve participation in this year’s unique cycling event. The 2014 event, which starts and finishes at World Heritage Caernarfon Castle on Sunday 15th June, has received funding from Outdoor Tourism which is part-funded by the Ireland-Wales Programme 2007-2013, to include, for the first time, tricycles for all ages, side-by-sides, laid back tandems, hand-powered cycles, recumbents for racing or relaxing, and wheelchair transporters.

The third Etape Eryri event is set to be the biggest edition to date. The Etape is expected to welcome over 1300 competitors and 2600 spectators to Caernarfon to see this epic sporting spectacle. Competitors include Dave Bralisford, the former performance director of British Cycling, who was brought up in nearby Deiniolen.

Outdoor Tourism brings together six organisations; three from Wales: Conwy County Borough Council, Gwynedd Council and the Outdoor Partnership; and three from Ireland Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Kildare County Council and the Kilkenny Leadership Partnership.

Outdoor Tourism is an INTERREG IVA project that has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cross Border programme and match-funding from the six partners in Ireland and Wales.

Jim McGurn of Get Cycling, said, "We think everyone should have the chance to enjoy cycling, whatever their ability or disability. Cycling offers lots of benefits to anyone with a disability: independent mobility, coordination, enormous fun and a real sense of achievement from using your own exercise to go places."

"The Etape Eryri offers a great chance to enjoy cycling and the 15 or so adaptive cycles we are bringing mean no one will be excluded. We look forward to a great ride with great people."

Gwynedd Council backed the event and John Wyn Jones, the Cabinet Member for Development and the Economy, said: “Events such as the Etape Eryri are a fantastic way of showcasing Gwynedd and boosting our tourism industry. The outdoor adventure activity sector pumps millions of pounds into the local economy each year, and by hosting these events we can enhance what we already have and offer greater opportunities to visitors, local businesses and communities can benefit.”

Rob Samuel from Always Aim High Events who are organizing the Etape added, “We are grateful for the funding support from the Outdoor Tourism Project. It will enable us to offer a range of adaptive bikes for the first time this year.

“This year’s Etape promises to be a great event and Caernarfon Square will be transformed into the Etape Eryri Event Village and a great place to watch and capture the action!”

Marcus Politis, Disability Sport Wales Development Officer for Gwynedd Council said, “All opportunities be it at your local sports club, leisure centre or events should be inclusive, and this is a positive breakthrough in terms of cycling events within Gwynedd.  With 23% of the Welsh population being disabled (Census), this compliments grass route opportunities such as the already established Challenge Your Boundaries project in Coed y Brenin and a proposed new inclusive cycling plan for Plas Menai.  

“This will provide an exit route for all abilities and will increase the participation of disabled people in this fantastic sport.  It will also add to the current offer and contribute to enhancing the lives of disabled people in Gwynedd and throughout Wales”