04\ THE ALL-TER­RAIN TRIAL

Men's Health (UK) - - The Grand Tour -

At 70 miles, this is not an easy ride but nei­ther is it ex­ces­sive. If you’re used to get­ting out at the week­end, it shouldn’t dent you too much. It’s also the perfect ride for a keen ama­teur, due to its mix of rolling ter­rain, town roads and climbs.

Kick­ing off in Cardiff, head north­east through the Na­tional Cy­cle trails to­ward New­port, adopt­ing the quiet back lanes across to Chep­stow be­fore drop­ping down to­ward Tin­tern in the val­ley of the River Wye. By now you’ll be in need of a break, so stop for a cuppa to give you the en­ergy re­quired to climb back out of the val­ley.

This is the most dif­fi­cult sec­tion of the ride. In fact, it’s so long and steep that it was used in the 2014 Na­tional Road Race Cham­pi­onships, mak­ing it a great way to test your body against a climb the pros of­ten use. If you’re in shape you should be able to do it in 20 min­utes.

The way back loops through Usk, Caer­leon and New­port. There are lots of op­tions here, de­pend­ing on what sort of ride you want. If you go left at a cer­tain point you can add five min­utes. Go­ing right at an­other will cut 10. In terms of ter­rain and dis­tance, it’s perfect for adapt­ing the ride to your day’s train­ing plan. The key is to ex­per­i­ment – as long as you have a good map to hand it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to get lost. The Rest Stop – The Fill­ing Sta­tion Cafe in Tin­tern is run by Rob Par­tridge, a fel­low cy­clist who rep­re­sented Wales in the Com­mon­wealth Games. Treat your­self to one of their tea­cakes, which are about the size of a din­ner plate.

THE COURSE TO ELITE EN­DURANCE NEVER DID RUN SMOOTH

Start­ing in Cardiff, this Celtic de­camp­ment com­bines up­hills, moor­land and tar­mac for an all- en­com­pass­ing or­bit The Tin­tern All-ter­rain Tour, South Wales, cho­sen by Owain Doull, Olympic gold medal­list now rid­ing for Team Sky

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