The Dragon Ride’s Medio Fondo – 7 Famous Faces or Places to spot en route!
The Dragon Ride returns to Margam Park for its 18th edition in June 2022, the bucket-list event, known for beautiful landscapes and tough ascents, provides an exciting and boast-worthy challenge for those who dare!
Along the 157km Medio Fondo route, cyclists will pass through the origin towns and villages of many other legends. The ride can give you a taste of many famous names and landmarks associated with the south of Wales.
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Just 7.5km along the route, situated outside of Swansea, is the town of Port Talbot, where the world-famous actor Sir Anthony Hopkins grew up. The double Academy Award winner best known for his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and more recently for his Oscar-winning performance in ‘The Father’.
Only 1.5km further along the route from Port Talbot is the village of Baglan, where comedian and actor Rob Brydon grew up. The Gavin & Stacey star, and host of popular panel show ‘Would I Lie To You’, is known for his strong Welsh dialect.
Almost 40km in the South Wales mining town of Glynneath, is where comedian and entertainer Max Boyce was born. Boyce rose to prominence in the 1970s combining his passions for comedy, music and his love of rugby union.
As St Patrick’s day has recently passed, it is appropriate to include the village of Banwen. Found 45km into the ride, it is rumoured that the village was actually the birthplace of the patron saint of Ireland.
52km in at Abercrave, is the birthplace of former Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby player, Adam Jones. Jones is part of a group of only 6 Welsh rugby legends to win three grand slams for the country.
5000-year-old Yew tree
10km before the route’s harshest ascent, the Devil’s Elbow, lies the Defynnog Yew tree. There are hundreds of ancient yew trees in the UK that date back to over 600 years old, yet the Defynnog Yew has supposedly stood tall since the Bronze age, which would make it the oldest tree in the UK at more than 5000 years old.
Nearing the end of the route, looping back around to Port Talbot 151km in, is the birthplace of actor and political activist Michael Sheen. Starting as a theatre actor, Sheen is now better known as a screen actor and has starred in a trilogy of films as former UK prime minister Tony Blair in which he received BAFTA and Emmy nominations. For a small Welsh town of 35,000 people, Port Talbot has produced a wealth of acting and entertainment talent!
With only 2 months to go until you take on the biggest beast in Britain, we hope this has given you some extra ‘sightseeing distractions’ to look forward to!