If you've signed yourself up for Gritfest this weekend - or if you just want to find out what you'll be missing from the sold-out event - then here's everything you need to know about what'll be going down at the first installment of the gravel stage race.
If you're heading down to take part or just spectate in the beautiful surroundings Llandovery in Mid Wales, then we've rounded up all the bits and pieces you'll need to know - or just to make you a bit envious if you haven't been able to make it this time around.
What's the weather going to be like?
We've scouted around our favourite forecasting sites and apps and it looks like the weather should be about spot on for some big days in the saddle, with no rain on either Saturday or Sunday plus temperatures maxing out at around 21ºC. Sadly, it doesn't look like there will be blue skies, but a touch of cloud does at least mean there's less chance of sunburn - look on the bright side, eh?
How do I get there?
The event is based out of Glangwenlais Farm, just outside Cilycwm, which is 20 minutes/four miles drive out of Llandovery, the nearest biggish town. The organisers stress that you shouldn't trust your satnav to get to the farm and should instead follow event signposts from Cilycwm village.
What's going to be at the event village?
Well, first up there's going to be the camping along with parking open from Friday evening, plus electrical pickups for those that have booked them. As you'd expect, there are plenty of showers and toilets on site, along with drinking water provision. There will also be a limited number of plugs for anyone that needs to charge up a phone or GPS device.
Food will be available on-site from Friday at 4pm through to Sunday after the race, with the following caterers on hand to kee you fed:
- Nixons Catering - Fantastic, local company that also happen to be cyclists! Pasta, jackets, burgers, breakfasts. Loads of fantastic food.
- Neuadd Arms - The local pub in Cilycwm will be onsite with a bar all weeekend serving alcoholic and soft drinks.
- Pizza-Ria - Freshly cooked stone-baked Pizzas
- Gilly's Coffee & Cake - Barista Coffee and delicious homemade cakes
The bar opens at 4pm on Friday with films showing from 6pm on a big screen.
For non-riding partners and kids, Saturday will see Hawk Adventures Archery open in the morning, with some Bushcraft acitivities in the afternoon. The bar will open for business once more at 1pm and there will be live music and entertainment put on from 6pm.
Due to limited phone signal, the event will be CASH ONLY as no card machines will work. The nearest cashpoints are in Llandovery and don't charge for withdrawals.
What about the registration, briefing and route?
Registration for riders will be open from 5pm to 7pm on Friday and then 8am to 9am on Saturday and it's probably a good idea to aim for the Friday to avoid the rush on race day. Once you're registered, you'll get you number, goodies and timing chip.
There will be no formal briefing to worry about, but you should check the notice board in the arena and listen out for any announcements before the start. A more in-depth race booklet is available online, here. It has details of each days riding and special stages.
If you want to download a GPX track of the route, you can find it here, but be aware there may be some changes. It's worth reading the event rules too, which are all common sense stuff but will be strictly enforced.
What else do I need to know?
We think that covers it - you might want to check out our guide to doing your first gravel race, which covers all the essential kit you'll need plus plenty of useful advice.
We'll be turning up to the event in force, so say hi if you see us and we wish you all the best if you don't!
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