Sunday 24th May 2015
Distance: 28 Miles
Climbing: 2,616 ft
Food Stops: 1
The Corach starts at in Llanbadarn at the University Playing Fields known as Blaendolau, just one mile from Aberystwyth, with its picturesque seafront, known as the Biarritz of the North. The route then makes 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.
Upon leaving IBERS, riders head south for a mile before hooking up with the A44 at Loversgrove and heading back west towards Aberystwyth and upon reaching the village of Llanbadarn, retrace to the event HQ at Blaendolau.
Head for the Continental Tyres finish arch and rack your bike, then receive your well earned bowl of Chilli con Carne or Cawl (Welsh Broth) and relax with the other competitors.