Sunday 25th May 2014 - 8am onwards
Distance: 26 Miles
Food Stops: 1
The Corach starts on the picturesque Aberystwyth seafront, known as the Biarritz of the North, 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 Talesin, 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 Bontgoch.
This final serious hill on the Corach route leads up to the open moorland of Bontgoch, this is a long and testing climb with some steep sections, thankfully broken up with a couple of welcome downhills. Riders will be able to give it their all on this hill as the run in from here is mostly flat. The views from the top of Bontgoch offer a stunning vista over cardigan bay which the rider may perhaps forgo as the road down from here is smooth, straight and exhilaratingly fast all the way to the valley floor and the village of Penrhyncoch, home of the internationally renowned environmental research institute IBERS. The route then takes the riders West towards Aberystwyth along a mostly flat road traveling past the Welsh Assembly buildings before tracing its way through the town to the seafront.
This final section along the seafront takes the riders past Aberystwyth’s most celebrated landmarks; the 13th Edwardian Castle and the distinctive town war memorial, which is considered to be one of the finest in Britain. Followed by the Old College, which through public contributions, was established in 1872 thus becoming Wales’s first university. The final landmark before the finishing straight is Aberystwyth’s Royal Pier, again Wales’s first, it opened in 1865. Sadly the weather hasn’t been kind to it and much of the original 242 meter length has been lost to the sea. The riders cross the finish line on the return to the bandstand where no doubt they will be seeking a reward for their travails in one of the sea front ice cream parlours or fish and chips shops!