Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Challenge

A non-competitive cycling challenge over 170km and climbing 3000 metres.

Froncysyllte, near Llangollen

   Announcment  2009 Report,Results & Photos 

Statement from the Organiser

This event was run successfully in 2008 and 2009 but with rather low entries. The projected entry in 2010 was for 60 to 70 entries in total, significantly fewer than 2009. This would be a loss-making non-event and I took the decision to cancel.

These events are very much a numbers game. There is a significant fixed cost that has to be covered, regardless of the number of entrants. I wasn't looking for thousands of entries but there is a minimum below which it's not viable.

  • 500 - great, would establish it as a major UK event
  • 250 - good, a friendly, intimate and economically viable event
  • 120 - break-even, would go ahead but uncertain future
  • 60 - a loss-making flop

I have no explanation for why were entries were so low. The topic has been discussed on various cycling forums but with no clear picture emerging. In fact comments from previous years were consistently positive and 2010 was seen as an opportunity to step up and occupy the space in the calendar vacated by the Gran Fondo Cymru. These are some of the points commented on:

Just hard enough and ideal preparation for the Marmotte and Etape du Tour. Having only the one, hard route undoubtedly put some off but offering a short option in 2010 attracted very little additional interest.
At £18 it had one of the lower entry fees.
Adequate to good and commensurate with the entry fee.
Unpronouncable but it is a World heritage Site.
Start is 20 mins south of Chester along the A483 dual-carriageway.
Passed thru Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Snowdonia National Park.

I'm willing to revisit if anyone can suggest how there might be more interest in the future but, being realistic, it's game over.

Stan Thomas