Are you up for a cycle challenge?
This coming weekend will be one to remember for cycling enthusiasts, as Gwynedd welcomes a brand new cycling event - the Etape Eryri will take place on Sunday the 17th June.
Etape Eryri is a cycling race with a difference. Not only are the routes pretty challenging, but they wind, twist and turn through some of the most breath-taking scenery in the UK, right here in Snowdonia.
There are three different routes - Etape Bach (small) is the shortest at 47 miles; Etape Canol (middle) is 76 miles of cycling, and Etape Mawr (large) is a whopping 103 miles of pedal power! So this is not an event for the faint hearted.....
All of the routes start and finish at Caernarfon Castle; the two longest routes go right past us here at the Oakeley Arms, so we'll be looking out for the Etape Eryri cyclists as they pass and cheering them on! We'll certainly welcome them in for a pint or two if they need some refreshment, although we have a feeling they'll be whizzing right by.
image by guenter m. kirchweger on sxc.hu
The event is even drawing some of the country's top cyclists. There will be three pro cyclists from Britain's Team Sky competing at the Etape - Chris Sutton and Michael Barry will be a great boost to the start list, and the legendary Dave Brailsford, Team Sky's Manager, will be at Caernarfon with his team members.
As well as the cycling events, there'll be loads to see and do for non-cyclists. There'll be a festival vibe at the Castle Square in Caernarfon with kids entertainment and a brilliant mountain bike display team. It's not one to miss!!
The event is still open to entrants, although there are maximum time requirements - participants must finish Etape Bach in 6 hours and Etape Mawr in 10 hours. More info and registration on the website.
What's in a name?
An etape literally means "a stage of a cycling tour" and Eryri of course, is the welsh word for Snowdonia.
Etape Eryri is organised by Always Aim High Events. You can find out more about their other adventure events on their website here