The climbs up Caerphilly Mountain and The Tumble will prove a daunting challenge for most of the VELOTHON Wales 2017 field. But not for Sarah Llewellyn, who is returning to her homeland from San Francisco to take on the 140km sportive.
Sarah was born and raised in Cardiff before college an work took her to some of the world’s most iconic location. First was London, then Paris, before a six-year stint in Sydney, Australia. Sarah returned to the United Kingdom briefly, but not for long before jetting off to San Francisco, where she still resides to this day.
It was on the challenging climbs of the Northern California hills and mountains where the love for her bike blossomed. The San Francisco Bay Area has a reputation as a cyclists paradise, or worst nightmare. The peaks surrounding the city can be even more fearsome than The Tumble, which Sarah will encounter at around the 80km mark of VELOTHON Wales.
The Cardiff rider returned home for a spell due to family reasons, and quickly rediscovered the stunning scenery of South Wales. Now every time she returns to her homeland, Sarah links up with Spokes Cycling Touring Club, which sparked her interest in taking on this year’s instalment of VELOTHON Wales.
She said: “Discovering South Wales on a bike was wonderful. Happily Mum eventually recovered from a fall and moved back home, albeit to find a bike parked in the spare room. Now, every time I go back to Cardiff three times a year to visit her, I fit in as many bike rides as I can. I have also linked up with Spokes Cycling Club and joined them on a few of their rides, discovering even more of Wales.
"As soon as I heard that registration was open for this year’s Velothon, I signed up. I’ve never done a ride on closed roads before so I can’t wait! And most of the route will be new to me not to mention relatively flat compared to the roads in Northern California!”
Sarah’s journey will come full circle on July 9th when she leaves the iconic centre of Cardiff to the East, passing the area where she grew up in Llanishen. If you want to join Sarah and up to 15,000 riders, sign up at www.velothon.com/wales.
There is still time to enter the 140km sportive, but act quickly if you want to avoid The Tumble and challenge yourself on the 110km course as spaces are selling out fast.