Start Time: 09:00
Distance: 44.5 miles
Elevation: 3,942 ft
Major Climbs: Penglais Hill, Nant y Moch
Food Stops: 2
By popular demand, we’ve added a fourth route to the Welsh Wild West sportive to suit riders who have ‘graduated; from riding the Corrach 28 mile route but who do not wish to push up to the 78 mile Mynach route.
The Diafol fits the bill with a challenging yet achievable 41 miles following the Mynach route as far as Ponterwyd on the A44, some 12 miles from Aberystwyth. This is where the Diafol turns away from the longer Mynach and Cawr routes and sweeps gently through the gradual A44 descent through the Rheidol Valley towards Capel Bangor and onto Aberystwyth.
Starting at Aberystwyth Bandstand before making its way to the foot of Penglais hill; this is the first and perhaps hardest of all the sportive climbs with a constant incline of nearly 7% for a mile! However, there are distractions to take away the pain as it passes the iconic National library of Wales and Aberystwyth University along with the imposing Pantycelyn building which was home to Prince Charles during his studies. As you reach the student footbridge spanning the road the end is in sight as the road levels off and takes you towards Clarach. Once the summit has been crested the road sweeps down through woods, care should be taken as halfway down the hill is a tight hairpin that can catch riders out.
The route then takes the riders along the coast on an undulating road to the top of Borth hill, which affords stunning views of Cardigan Bay with the sandy beach stretching to Ynys Las and on a clear day Cader Idris, Snowdonia and the Llyn peninsular visible in the distance. The road descends into Borth and gives the riders their first chance of some level pedalling. The route turns East as the road approaches the Ynyslas sand dunes and heads toward the village of Treddol and then Southward through Taliesin, birthplace of the famous Welsh Bard, to the village of Talybont. Spectators wishing to see the riders enroute could enjoy a roadside seat and pint outside the Black lion pub at the foot of the next major climb up to Nant y Moch reservoir.
The climb up to Nant y Moch is perhaps the closest thing Wales gets to an Alpine pass, including flower rich pastures with contented livestock and home to an abundance of Red Kites. This is a long but steady climb, 5 miles at a shade over 4.6% gaining 1253ft of altitude. The road takes the riders up into truly wild West Wales, the Cambrian Mountains. This is an area with open moorland hills, forests, lakes and streams abounding. Once the summit is reached the road winds its way along some lovely smooth tarmaced roads alongside Nant y Moch reservoir with the 2467ft Plynlimon mountain, the source of five rivers including the Wye and Severn, dominating to the East. Here in 1401 Owain Glyndwr united Wales and opposed King Henry the Fourth’s despotic oppression of the people. At this place, Owain and his followers, hopelessly outnumbered, engaged and defeated a formidable English army of over 10,000 men.
Once across the impressive dam wall the riders ascend the short climb up towards Plynlimon, don’t worry it doesn’t continue to the top, before heading South along a fast smooth road towards the village of Ponterwyd. Care should be taken at the end of this road as it descends past Dinas Reservoir into Ponterwyd as the road has a couple of sharp corners before the riders cross onto the A44 road, before turning left and heading to Devils Bridge on the A4120.
This is a change to the 2015 edition of the race and allows a more scenic return to Aberystwyth via the A4120.
The second feedzone will be at the Hafod Arms in Devils Bridge.
This final section takes a right at the T junction at Southgate, 1 mile outside Aberystwyth. This is a steep descent and caution is needed. Please brake early! Take the first exit off the roundabout at Southgate (Penparcau) and descend through Penparcau into Aberystwyth over Trefechan Bridge. Turn immediately left after the bridge onto South Road and follow this to the promenade (T-Junction). Turn right here and follow the promenade road (New Promenade) to the Royal Pier junction. Turn left here and continue to follow the prom on Marine Terrace before approaching the finishing funnel at the new Bandstand.
Shower and toilet facilities are also provided.