The inaugural edition of Wales360 is now less than 300 days away, so over the coming weeks we wanted to introduce you to some of your fellow Pioneers who will be taking on the epic debut event in July 2019.

Getting us underway and one of the first riders to sign-up for Wales360 is Andrew Gwatkin and while he’ll be riding in Wales, he’s far from a novice to this style of events. Andrew will be heading to Wales360 as a part of Team Premium Energy with his friend and Cape Epic riding partner Toni Gonzalez.

Why did you decide to enter Wales360?

Having ridden the likes of the Cape Epic (South Africa), TransAlp (Europe) and Titan Desert (Morocco), the attraction of an event so close to home was a big draw for Andrew.

“I’ve raced similar events overseas and I really enjoyed them so it is brilliant to have the stage race format in Wales, a chance to experience the sense of adventure and challenge without having to fly off to another country!”
While the Wales360 event aims to give UK based riders the chance to take part in something that for travel or logistics may not normally be possible, we are also aiming for a healthy international contingent to the event, to show off the amazing trails that the Principality has to offer. That’s certainly something Andrew agrees with.

“For my riding partner who comes from Spain it is also a really good opportunity to see more of Wales. He’s already visited the south to ride the bike parks and the Brecon Beacons so this will be a brilliant way to see different places and ride new terrain.”

Tell us about yourself as a rider?

“I ride most days as I commute to work on the bike, often taking the long route to build in some good trails on the way. I started mountain biking in 1991 when I undertook a summer job to earn enough money to buy my first MTB, a Specialized Rockhopper Comp, a fully rigid bike back in the day! I started XC racing within a few months and I have been totally hooked on mountain biking ever since! As well as XC racing I’ve also done MTB marathons such as the Grand Raid Cristalp and stage races. In recent years I’ve added in road sportives such as the Etape du Tour, the Marmotte, Quebrantahuesos and the Maratona dles Dolomites.

“The bike is a brilliant way to travel and explore, we’ve ridden all over Europe, the US, Canada, Brazil and Costa Rica and there is still so much more of the world to see!”

Andrew Gwatkin

Andrew riding in British Colombia (Canada) during July 2019 on a trail just outside Cumberland.

What appealed to you about Wales360?

As a proud Welshman a big part of Andrew’s motivation to be a Wales360 pioneer was the chance to support a new event in Wales, but there’s also another advantage to signing-up early, and that’s an excuse for some new kit!

“The challenge of a stage race and the chance to ride though an incredible part of Wales. It’s also great to have signed up to the first edition, to be a Pioneer in what will be an amazing event. The route looks incredible and I love the point to point format, it will give a real sense of achievement to those who are fortunate enough to complete it.

“I’m really excited about this event and already it is providing motivation during training rides…oh and it might be a good excuse to buy a new bike too!!”

Look out for more rider profiles of our Wales360 pioneers in the coming weeks.

For your once-in-a lifetime chance to be a Pioneer and compete in the first edition of Wales360 between Monday 22 and Saturday 27 July, sign-up to enter here.

Wales360 is a full supported event with riders staying each night in the atmospheric Rider Village with accommodation, food & beverage, mechanical support, bike cleaning and entertainment all included in the entry fee.

What's Included