FORMER Wales back row forward Alix Popham says the Whitehead Tour de Gwent will have added six appeal in 2018.

The Whitehead Tour de Gwent 2018, in aid of St David’s Hospice Care, is offering six routes when it is staged on Sunday, April 15.

All the routes will be starting and finishing at Caerleon School.

The newest route, adding a sixth distance to the popular event, will challenge riders to cover a muscle-testing, 93-mile circular route.

Former Brive, Llanelli Scarlets and Newport player Alix, aged 37, who was capped 33 times for Wales, took up cycling after retiring from the sport due to injury.

He is calling for more riders to take part and for more sponsors to saddle up for the Whitehead Tour de Gwent.

Alix, who took part in the gruelling 3,100 mile Ride Across America Raam Ride charity cycle event this year, has supported the Tour de Gwent sportive since its inception.

Current event sponsors are Whitehead, Tiny Rebel, EOS Architects, GoCompare, Mon Motors, Advantage Accountancy, Parade graphic designers, MCL Logistics and Newport Social Cycling.

Alix said: “The Whitehead Tour de Gwent is such as brilliant event and takes riders through some of the most fantastic South Wales countryside. I invited friends from across the UK taking part in the Raam Ride some who had never been here before to join me on the Tour de Gwent this year and we all had a fantastic time.

Alix, from Rhiwderin, Newport, is an ambassador for the Whitehead Tour de Gwent event and will ride in the 93 mile event.

He gathered with lead sponsor Rhys Morton, of Newport-based Whitehead Building Services and other sponsors at St David’s Hospice Care in Malpas to officially launch this year's tour.

Alix said: “The Tour de Gwent is challenging, with great climbs which tests some of the most experienced of riders but also offers a great deal for families and less experienced cyclists to enjoy.”

Keen cyclist Rhys Morton said: “We’re thrilled to have Alix as ambassador for the Whitehead Tour de Gwent. We can’t thank him enough for all that he does for the event. We’re hopeful that his continued solid support for the event will encourage others to get on their bikes and sign up for the Tour de Gwent and also for more sponsors to come forward.

“Whitehead has had a long association with St David’s Hospice Care which we are delighted to continue. A number of our 150 staff will be involved in the Tour de Gwent on the day from riding the route to helping out as marshalls.”

Organiser Franca Nigro, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “We’re thrilled Alix Popham is taking part in the Tour de Gwent challenge again this year and for the continued support from Rhys Morton, Whitehead and all our wonderful sponsors and sponsors.

“We are hopeful many others will now follow Alix’s lead and saddle up in support of St David’s Hospice Care to help us continue the vital work we carry out throughout our community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, 365 days a year. We would also like a few more sponsors to now sign up to support the event”

The Tour de Gwent starts and finishes at Caerleon School. It sees riders tackle one of six routes ranging from three miles for children to 93 miles for hardened riders, on roads and lanes in Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire.

The challenge is to complete your chosen course within 10 hours and arrive back at the finish village at Caerleon School in time to enjoy the BBQ, refreshments, live music, entertainment and stalls.

The minimum age for entrants is 16-years for the platinum, gold and silver routes with minimum age of 14 for the bronze and midi route. The entry fee is £55 or £30, depending on route chosen, with early bid offers during October, with free entry for the kids’ three mile route.

The entry price includes an exclusive event cycling ‘sport cut’ jersey, route maps, water and feeding stations, safety bike marshals and first aid cover

To register and get more details of the route and entry costs please visit or call 01633 851051.