WITH GLORIOUS sunshine, big crowds and a breathtaking route, the third edition of the Etape Eryri cycling sportive did not disappoint last weekend.

1,300 cyclists from all over the UK descended on the hills of Gwynedd on Sunday to take on the 103-mile etape mawr, the 76-mile etape canol and the 47-mile etape bach routes.

Y Maes in Caernarfon was transformed into a festival of entertainment for the day with hundreds of visitors and locals contributing to a sporting-party atmosphere.

The first rider home once again in the etape mawr was the reigning course record-holder Gareth McGuinness from Llanrug, who eclipsed his previous fastest time set in 2013, but setting a new record of four hours and 53 minutes.

He said: “It's an amazing route and once again I was on my own from about half way so it was pretty much a solo effort on the last 50 miles.

"Overall though this is an amazing event and I'm sure I'll be back for many years to come.”

Deeside cyclist Sarah Ryder was the fastest female around the 103-mile route, in a time of five hours and 55 minutes.

Rob Samuel, of event organisers Always Aim High said: “From a community viewpoint, we are very proud of what the event contributes to the local area, not only economically but also on the day, as the Maes was a great venue for the live musical sets, local food stalls and the wonderful welcome from the whole Caernarfon population - it all just worked so well."

Full Etape Bach, Canol and Mawr results can be found via the TDL Event Services site. Further info on the Etape Eryri and the full Always Aim High Events line-up can be found at www.alwaysaimhighevents.com.