The annual Cowbridge two-day cycle race, organised by the Cardiff 100 Miles Road Cycling Club came to the Vale on June 17 and 18.
Members of the Vale Photographic Club were strategically placed around the various courses to cover the event during uncharacteristically hot weather, which caused some competitors to question which of these two clubs they preferred to belong to!
Stage 1 was a team trial event in which four members of each of 21 cycle clubs from around Wales and England cycled the 11.4km from the west end of Cowbridge bypass to Brocastle roundabout and back.
Local readers will be aware this includes the long drag of Crack Hill! The Shropshire-based Rhino Velo Race Team were worthy winners of this stage beating Bynea Cycling Club by only four hundredths of a second.
A second stage held that day was a conventional road race comprising two circuits of a course from the same start as Stage 1 but heading out to Ewenny and then Southerndown, Wick, the west end of Llantwit Major bypass and returning to Cowbridge.
The closing section required the competitors to scale another long drag to the eastern end of Cowbridge bypass. The 85km was completed joint first by two Cardiff Ajax riders, Joseph Rees and Daniel Maclean-Howell in a staggering two hours four minutes and 12 seconds, 17 seconds ahead of the next rider.
The third stage the following day, also a road race, featured a ride along the upper section of the Ogmore Valley through more varied scenery, though given the course profile it is questionable whether any of the competitors noticed!
Starting north of Aberthin, the race proceeded to Brynsadler and then to Llanharry, Llanharan, Pencoed, Bryncethin, and Blackmill, after which the first of three intermediate timing points was passed.
From there the route went briefly across the pass to the Ely valley through Coedely for the second timing point.
A third timing point was passed on the way back to Pencoed by the same route. The race then went to Pentre Meyrick and onward to that long drag again which is Cowbridge bypass!
The 72k of this stage were completed in one hour 49 minutes and 43 seconds by first placed Morgan Jones of Cwmcarn Paragon Cycle Club. Four other riders were awarded the same time.
A sizeable team of race officials led by Will Pring oversaw the event with commensurate skill. The overall classification for the event placed the aforementioned Cardiff Ajax riders as winner and runner up respectively.