History of the Dragon Ride
“Here Be Dragons”
The Dragon Ride is one of the oldest and most iconic sportives in the UK, renowned as being the toughest and most legendary in the British Isles. It will, once again, be returning to Margam Park for what will be the 20th edition in 2024.
Lou Lusardi birthed the very first Dragon Ride in 2004, with just 280 riders, he was inspired by the popularity of Italian Gran Fondo’s in his home country. At the time there were only a handful of sportives in the UK and Lou saw an opportunity to bring this type of event to the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons). An insight that has proven correct and stood the test of time, with thousands every year now slaying the gruelling Dragon Ride.
Hear the story from from Lou himself:
The popularity of the inaugural event and the demand for this type of cycling challenge saw the Dragon Ride more than double in size each season over the next few years. Continual growth since has seen the current event become one of, if not, the the largest UK open road sportive, and a must-do event in the cycling calendar.
Human Race took over the organisation of the Dragon Ride in 2012 when the start/finish moved to the current venue, the picturesque Margam Park located near Port Talbot. The Dragon Ride has always been an event at the forefront of cycling innovation, being the first to use online entries and disposable timing chips. 2014 saw the introduction of the mammoth 300km Dragon Devil.
The evolution of the event has always retained the spirit of Wales at its heart combining a true passion for cycling and taking advantage of the intoxicating beauty of Brycheiniog (the Brecons). The four different route options showcase this incredible scenery and allow riders to experience the wild and rugged beauty of the Welsh landscapes from sweeping descents to challenging climbs.
2021 saw a first route change in that they were reversed for the very first time.