2019 Vitus Dragon Ride – a photoblog

In 2019, the 16th edition of the Vitus Dragon Ride rolled into South Wales.

Since it’s inception in 2003, the Vitus Dragon Ride has grown into one of the UK’s most prestigious, respected and feared sportives. The Dragon Tour, a two day extension of the Ride, quickly followed and before long the legend of the Dragon was born. Dragon weekend, as it has come to be known, (Friday 5th- Sunday 7th June 2020) is now a date that gently smoulders in the calendar of every cycling enthusiast.

We’ve put together 7 of the best photos from the 2019 event. Enjoy!

The captivating countryside of Cmyru (Wales) is what sets the Vitus Dragon Ride apart. Cyclists can enjoy rolling hills of golden green, misty Breacon peaks and the bleating of spring lambs. It’s no surprise that it was in this setting that wordsmiths such as CS Lewis, Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl sought their inspiration.

But make no mistake, the Dragon has a beastly reputation for a reason. The notorious Devil’s Staircase is a closed-roads, 1.3km climb with a demanding 25% gradient. There were 4 distances available at the Vitus Dragon Ride in 2019 namely; the Devil (298km) , the Gran Fondo (223km), the Medio Fondo (153km) and the Macmillan 100km. Find out more about the 2019 distances here.

The Vitus Dragon Ride feed stations are distinguished in cycling circles. Amongst other nibbles, hearty home-cooked salt and pepper potatoes power participants around the challenging course. Optimum Nutrition are the official nutrition partner of the event. Check out their website here.

The 2019 event departed from Margam Park near Port Talbot. The park offers riders free parking and easy access from both Swansea and Cardiff. Every finisher who took part in 2019 received a complementary Erdinger Alkoholfrei beer as part of their entry price, as well as pasta and burritos to refuel them after their ride. The official Rapha jersey was also on sale at the event [pictured below]

Event organisers, Human Race, who also organise L’Etape UK, the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI World Championship Official Sportive, will be managing the event again in 2020.

One participant said: ‘I have just taken part in the Vitus Dragon Ride 2019 and wanted to congratulate Human Race for a truly wonderful and professionally organised event. My group of 12 riders are all in agreement this was the best organised event we have attended. Not just the organisation but the cheerfulness of all the helpers at each feed station, the motor bike helpers, marshals etc, it was so refreshing and much appreciated given the exhaustion some of us were feeling.’

Over the Dragon weekend we saw rain, hail, rain, wind, rain, mist and sun. It’s true – you are likely to get wet at some point during you ride but most regulars wouldn’t have it any other way. It just wouldn’t be the Vitus Dragon Ride without a few showers. But you know what they say, when the going gets tough! Besides, sometimes, just sometimes, the sun comes out.

The Vitus Dragon Ride is back in 2020 but places are going fast – sign up now below!