Taith de Cymru [Team Tour]
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The Taith (welsh for tour/journey) begins in the western town on Pembroke just outside the castle where
Prince Charles officially became the Prince of Wales, though its history extends long into the past and was
used to repel part of the norman conquest of Britain.
Teams will head out of town to take in the west welsh countryside before turning back towards town and finishing where they started. It should be a fast TTT being under 11km, it will set the scene on the GC ready for 3 days of tactical fast racing across South Wales.
The Peloton gets going from the farmers town of Carmarthen. Straight out of town is a small hill which could be used as a launchpad for a breakaway attempt. Then it's up to the peloton to regroup and chase. The long coastal roads towards Llanelli will let riders keep an eye on who is up the road and drafting will be key to saving energy for a possible bunch sprint in one of the event organisers hometown of Gorseinon in the Swansea county.
Stage 3 starts in the seaside resort town of Mumbles where the peloton will ride along the Swansea bay front and through the city centre. Though relatively flat there is a small ramp leaving the county going into Neath-Port Talbot. Through the industrial town of Port Talbot (Home of famous actor Michael Sheen, Anthony Hopkins, Rob Brydon et al.) Largely flat, there are a few upward slopes as the peloton reaches the final 15km which could be used as a launching zone. The stage ends in the town of Bridgend just outside the train station after a few twists and turns so make sure you’re fighting near the front.
It doesn’t get flatter than stage 4. A hotbed for team chaingangs in real life, this stretch of road known as
the Newport flats is a very popular route used by clubs to travel between Cardiff and Newport.
We start the stage outside of Cardiff Castle and wind through the streets of the city centre before heading
onto the flats proper.
A few sharp turns as we reach Newport are the only real attacking opportunities. Otherwise this will be an all-out drag race as the finish line is set on the A4810 .
The final stage of this year’s Taith is set on the famous climb called the Tumble. A regular on the longer Wales Veloton, this climb is harder than it looks. A flat run in towards the hill means jockeying before 2 attempts of the climb. The first time round means a desecent into Blaenavon which means you need to be in a strong group coming down as we head along the canal and back to the climb before the summit finish.