News: Funding for Cycle circuit in Monmouthshire Secured


World track championship Silver Medalist Sam Harrison welcomes great news for cycling in Monmouthshire

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Press release (Thanks Gary Baker)

A new state-of-the-art road cycling track near Abergavenny could inspire youngsters to follow in the tracks of Welsh Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth stars in the future, believes 2013 World Championships silver medalist Sam Harrison.

Monmouthshire Council has secured funding, announced today (Monday July 15), from Sport Wales, to be matched by the authority, that would turn Gilwern Outdoor Pursuits Centre near Abergavenny into one of Wales’ leading multi-sports venues.

While the new facility will need planning approval from the planning authority the jewel in the crown is the 1.2km road track.

The centre will be an all-year-round destination for sportsmen and women, while cycling for schoolchildren, families and club riders in a safe, secure facility. Currently, cyclists face riding on streets and roads that are occupied by cars, lorries and buses with the added danger associated with this.

But the new Gilwern venue, the first of its’ kind in South Wales, will mean many more parents will be happy to let their children get on their bikes and enjoy riding on the road in the knowledge that there is no risk of a serious accident while they are enjoying themselves..

Harrison, who lives a few miles from the venue in Cwmcarn and won a silver medal at this year’s World Championships in the Team Pursuit, said: “When you are younger, you need this sort of facility to get into the sport.

“Your parents are reluctant to let you ride on the road so any facility which is traffic free is brilliant for cycling and more kids will get into the sport as a result. It gives them a much safer environment to learn the skills you need.”

Bill Owen, a member of the British Cycling Board of Directors and organiser of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling, agreed that the new destination would bring great benefits to the sport in Wales and the fast-growing leisure cycling movement, not just in Monmouthshire and South East Wales but throughout the entire Principality.

Monmouthshire is a hotbed of all kinds of cycling, and the Gilwern project will cement that reputation.

Owen said: “Last year, it was announced that Monmouthshire was aiming to become the Cycling Capital of Wales. This exciting project is a testament to this promise and a commitment to sport. Already, cyclists from across the UK use the roads and lanes of the county for leisure and training and now they can use this new track and the associated facilities that the Gilwern Outdoor Pursuits Centre will provide at their leisure.

“More and more people are coming to Monmouthshire to catch the cycling bug and enjoy our fantastic county with its’ great and challenge rides as well as beautiful scenery.

“Already statistics show that cycling is the fastest growing sport in the country, with children and adults of all ages wanting to emulate our Olympic and Paralympic stars from London last year.

“This new facility at Gilwern will ensure that we now have all-year round riding for everyone, which is a key objective for everyone involved in the sport.”



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