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Road Racing

Road Racing Photo 1 Roading Racing, in the form of La Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta a España, is the pinnacle of the sport. However, the difficulties of organising this kind of event on British roads means there are fewer chances to participate. For example, the Port Talbot Wheelers currently organise 26 Club Time-Trials, plus 4 Open Time-Trials each year, but only organises 1 Road-Race: The President's Road-Race. Therefore, it might be best to make the most of such opportunities whilst they still exist.

This branch of the sport is governed by British Cycling, and it is necessary to have a Racing Licence (Provisional or Full), which can be bought here. Silver Membership currently costs £46 per year (correct as of 2023) and comes with 3rd Party Liability Insurance, which is a condition of entry. This also provides the necessary cover for all other PTW events, such as Regular Rides.

Road Racing Photo 2 In the President's Road Race, the riders are divided into 3 groups based on experience and number of racing points: let's call them 'slow', 'medium' and 'fast'. The groups then start at pre-defined intervals, like three separate peletons, with each peleton determining their own tactics. Should the slow peleton ride as hard as they can for the finish, in the hope they don't get caught? Should the medium peleton wait to be caught by the fast peleton, and then work together to catch the slow peleton? Rest assured that the spectators usually have very definite opinions about who should be doing what.

Whatever happens, the final 8 miles from the Glynneath turn, down the backroad towards the finish opposite Groundhog will be eyeballs out. Speeds will not dip below 30mph, except on the climbs, and the utility of an 11-tooth sprocket will be soon become abundantly clear. The official event cars and outrider motorcyclists, all highly trained individuals, are there to keep the competitors safe. Any instructions should be obeyed, but at the same time, take a moment to enjoy the experience. It is a unique event, and although it's pretty unlikely you will see the finish, let alone take part in it, you will find no shortage of people to discuss it with on the way back to the Event HQ.

Road Racing Photo 3

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