South East Wales

Road closures as Velothon Wales welcomes 12,000 cyclists

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Media captionRace facts: organisers will help get eight brides to the church

Thousands of cyclists have taken to the roads with the return of Velothon Wales.

About 12,000 amateur riders set off from Cardiff on a 140km (87m) route, taking in views of Newport, Usk, the Brecon Beacons, Pontypool, Newbridge and Caerphilly before returning to the capital.

Following on their heels were the professionals on a 194km (120m) race.

There were extensive road closures to ensure the safety of the riders.

Last year's event saw cyclists forced to carry their bikes for a time after a small amount of tacks were discovered on the route.

Image copyright Velothon Wales
Image caption Road closures for Velothon Wales

The event also made changes this time around, following criticism by some MPs and others last year about long road closures, a lack of information, and the effect on businesses.

Last year there were two routes, of 50km (31m) and 140km, but this weekend only the longer one remains.

Matt Newman, who has helped deliver Velothon Wales 2016, said organisers hoped the event would help boost the Welsh tourism industry.

"We hope this will provide a welcome boost to business all along the route and the surrounding areas," he said.

Image caption Competitors in Cardiff
Image copyright RB Create Ltd
Image caption Cyclists will endure 1,826m of climbing

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