AN MP has slammed the controversial bike race held across the region at the weekend – and said he does not want to see it in his area again.

Caerphilly’s Labour MP, Wayne David, said the Velothon was badly organised and had triggered complaints from disgruntled residents.

He said: “For the people of Caerphilly, [Sunday] was a nightmare. Roads were closed, sometimes before the time on the advertised schedules, and information about the Velothon road closures were not widely distributed.”

Mr David added of Sunday’s race, which saw 15,000 competitors cycle through Caerphilly, Newport Monmouthshire and Torfaen: “I have had hundreds of people complaining to me about how the Velothon caused huge disruption and near chaos. While I appreciate that the Velothon might be good for Wales and a lot of money for charity has been raised, I very much hope that the Velothon will not include Caerphilly in future.”

Tacks thrown on roads in protests at the event caused problems on Monday morning. A Pontllanfraith woman said she saw several cars parked up with flat tyres due to punctures from tacks thrown on the road in protest at the cycling event.

The woman, who preferred not to be named, was driving to work in Abergavenny shortly before 8am when she said a silver Audi a few cars in front of her had a blow-out, and had to pull over to the side of the road where there were already two or three cars changing tyres.

Cars had to manoeuvre around the Audi on the narrow stretch of the A4042 near Goytre and Nant-y-derry as she drove from Pontypool, she said.

She added that the site was close to where a Velothon road closure sign had been defaced with the word ‘trison’.

Her employer said she was thankful there wasn’t an accident: “It’s very irresponsible – there are a lot of twists and turns on that road.”

A Gwent Police spokeswoman said there had been no complaints about the pins being left on the road but that anyone who had any information that could help them is asked to call 101.

But there was some positive reaction to the event too. Pontypool cyclist Jodie Gaston, who watched the race in Blaenavon, said: “I thought it was really good. Everyone in Blaenavon seemed to have a positive time and there were people out cheering on the cyclists.”

Other politicians said they were glad the event had been enjoyed but were critical of the way it had been organised.

Newport East MP Jessica Morden said: “It’s wonderful to see so many messages from those taking part in the Velothon appreciating what a wonderful part of the world this is. However there are certainly lessons to learn for the organisers and Welsh Government. Clearly the communication strategy could have been improved and I have raised this on behalf of constituents who have contacted me.”

And Monmouth MP David Davies said of disruption in his constituency because of road closures: “I wish the competitors all the best - but there were people who were having weddings who didn’t have a wonderful time.”

He added he thought the Welsh Government and Velothon organisers should compensate businesses who had been forced to close on Sunday.

But a Welsh Government spokesman reiterated yesterday that it was unable to offer compensation because it had not organised the event.

Rob Williams, who co-runs the Secret Garden in Little Mill, said: “I am all for events in Wales – but it caused quite a lot of disruption because there were so many roads closed.”

Mr Williams said that on a typical day, dependent on weather conditions, the business could take up to £7,000 and that it lost that because customers could not reach it.

He added: “We have never seen anything like it. [The road]’s never been like that for as long as we’ve been here. And I’ve lived here, on and off, for 45 years.”

Another garden centre owner, Phil Thomas, said he also had to shut Greenmoor Nurseries in St Brides Wentloog.

Mr Thomas said: “I think they should spread it around. Perhaps they should go to North Wales. Everybody I know was against it because it closed everything down.”

And senior members of participating councils said they were keen to see what could be done in the future.

Torfaen council’s leader Cllr Bob Wellington said: “The Velothon has proved to be a hugely successful event, with many residents lining the streets to support the cyclists as they passed through the borough.

“It was fantastic to see the community spirit on the day and in Blaenavon residents were making cups of tea for marshals and allowing participants to use their bathrooms.

“We appreciate that some residents were inconvenienced by the road closures, and there are certainly lessons that the event organisers will need to learn from this event. However, it did a great job of showcasing Torfaen to cyclists from across the UK and Europe, and we hope that they’ll return with their families to explore the area and everything we have to offer.”

Monmouthshire council’s head of tourism, leisure and culture Ian Saunders said: “Monmouthshire played its part in helping organisers deliver the first Wales Velothon and we are pleased with the fantastic cycling displays and mass participation along the county’s roads.

“We will play our part in a debriefing session with the Welsh Government and the organisers to ensure that any issues are addressed and lessons are learnt before plans for next year’s event are agreed.”

Yesterday afternoon the Velothon organisers and Welsh Government were preparing a statement but were unable to send it to the Argus before its deadline.