AROUND a hundred cyclists took part in the Deri Dash Hill Climb yesterday, in aid of charity.

The 0.56km hill climb up the side of the Deri in Abergavenny is one of many Fringe events which will be held in the town as part of the week-long Festival of Cycling.

The festival will encompass the British Cycling National Time Trials and the National Road Race.

The 19 per cent gradient climb took place up to the house of David James – father to cycling stars Becky and Rachel James and this year’s organiser. The evening consisted of food stalls and bucket collections to raise funds for St David’s Hospice Care.

Last year’s Dash raised £1,600 for charity and saw the winning time of 1 minute and 37 seconds.

The Deri Dash started in 2012 as an experiment to help rejuvenate the annual Abergavenny Road Club Hill Climb, which used to take place on the slopes of The Tumble. Last year’s event attracted 55 competitors from eight-year-olds to 68-year-olds.

The festival’s summer mountain bike ride will take place today, from 6.30pm to 9pm and the criterium racing in St John Square on Friday will include youth racing and the annual Traders and Carnival Race.

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Meanwhile, a Gilwern company has manufactured almost 2,500 medals for the entrants of this Saturday’s Championship Sportive – the largest quantity in the firm’s 106-year history.

Specialists at Northern Automotive Systems in Gilwern, have spent nearly six weeks creating the accolades ahead of the event on Saturday, which will see cyclists ride the course of this year’s National Road Championships a day before the stars.

The medal making process began in early May and required nearly 50 kilogrammes of top-grade aluminium and more than two kilometres of ribbon. A team of six full-time staff and two apprentices have dedicated hours to the production of the medals.

In total, the firm has produced 2,489 medals – one for each cyclist on the Gold, Silver and Bronze routes through Monmouthshire.

The Champion Sportive will see thousands of riders cycle the Bronze course of twenty miles, a Silver route of 67 miles and the full Gold route which involves a climb up the Tumble Mountain between Abergavenny and Blaenavon.

This year, the Sportive includes a women’s only ride which covers the full 45 miles circuit of the Elite Women’s Road Race the following day.

More than 50,000 spectators are expected to descend on the county for the British Cycling National Time Trials Championships tomorrow and the National Road Championships on Sunday.

Northern Automotive Systems has also manufactured commemorative plaques for each of the winners of the professional races. The A3-sized pictures were cast from aluminium and weigh in at 357 grams, featuring Abergavenny and the Sugarloaf mountain.