THOUSANDS of cyclist will be riding Gwent roads this weekend as part of the second Velothon event.

Roads across South East Wales will be closed from 6am onwards to accommodate the estimated 18,000 cyclists taking part in the race.

Competitors will be a mixture of recreational cyclists and charity fundraisers, along with some of the world's best cyclists as part of the UCI sanctioned professional road race.

According to Velothon Wales, fundraising for charities is set to equal last year's total of over £1 million.

The race will take place on a completely closed 140km route, which will start and finish in Cardiff. From the capital, the route will cut through Newport, and parts of Monmouthshire before heading through Usk and up the Tumble.

The route will then circle around Blaenavon, Abergavenny and Pontypool twice before heading through Newbridge, Ystrad Mynach and Caerphilly.

It will then head back to Cardiff.

There is set to be major disruption in Newport, with a large stretch of road between Usk Way and Queens Way to close from 6.15am to 2.30pm.

Elsewhere, the A4043 from Pontypool to Blaenavon will be closed from 8am to 5.45pm ,while parts of the A472 will be shut between 8.30am and 5.45pm.

Local businesses have previously voiced concerns over the event, claiming that they will lose thousands of pounds in trade.

In March, Velothon organiser Nigel Russell was met with heavy opposition from people at Llanfoist Village Hill, near Abergavenny. Residents were unhappy with last year's route, which many said left them feeling like "prisoners" in their own homes.

The route on Sunday has been modified from last year to address some of the issues.

This includes the withdrawal of 50km route which means the loop from Newport, under the M4 at junction 28, along Forge Road, through Rhiwderin to Caerphilly is not occurring and those residents will not be affected.

Matt Newman, chief executive of Velothon Wales organisers Run 4 Wales, said: “We are sure riders will love the stunning scenery, challenging climbs and showpiece city centre start and finish, as they complete the 140km course on closed-roads.

“The local event delivery team are currently in the process of sending out more than 100,000 letters to residents and businesses along the route, giving them detailed information about the event.

“We are committed to improving the level of communication with those affected by road closures and welcome feedback from residents and businesses.”

Newport Bus will be affected by the road closures and some bus routes will use diversions between 9am until 4.30pm. The routes affected are 27/28 Caerleon, 35/36 Duffryn, 42 Moorland Park, 43 Spytty Park and 30 Cardiff.

The inaugural Velothon Wales in 2015 was a hit with cyclists, bringing more than 10,000 riders of all ages abilities to the area to tackle the stunning route. It benefitted the local economy by an estimated £2 million and raised in excess of £300,000 for good causes.

This year's race has been met with mixed reaction from businesses across Gwent from some saying they anticipate losing money to more positive views of the Velothon putting South Wales ‘on the map.’

Chairwoman of the Pontypool Traders Association, Nikola Masters previously said she thinks the Velothon is a brilliant event.

She said: "I can understand why some people in remote places will feel but generally speaking it’s great to have the fifth biggest cycling event come through our area.

“It’s such a great advert to promote all of our business and people need to feel the community spirit it can bring as everyone comes out to watch the cyclist ride past.”

Last year Anna Jones, of Usk Garden Centre in Llanbadoc, near Usk, said the Velothon was bad for businesses as the centre had to close but this year due to change in route it will be open.

Helen Mitchell, owner of Craft Renaissance which is based in Usk, said they will be closing the gallery for the whole weekend due to the road closures.

She said: "We're down to close on Sunday because we will be locked down from 7.30am until 3.30pm. Around us some of the roads are closed until 5.30pm, obviously people coming to us come from quite a wide distance away not just local so they will be locked down where they are.

"The trouble is that closing for one day - people won't know whether we are open or not because of the Velothon so we decided to close for the weekend."

Ms Mitchell said notice from Velothon organisers has greatly improved from last year. She said she received a letter from organisers months ago informing her of road closures and received a visit six to eight weeks ago from a Velothon representative.

Ms Mitchell said the argument that thousands of spectators who will be coming to view the bike races will be adding trade isn't a valid argument. She said: "That's not true as nobody can get to us as the roads are locked. It's not a real argument - there is no benefit to us in anyway from the amount of spectators."

She added: "It's an irritation. It's more of an inconvenience."

The road closures will also be affecting eight artist who have workshops on site.

She said: "The artist and makers won't be able to get to their workshops which is a bit of a nuisance. Many of them are small businesses."

Carol Knight, wedding co-ordinator of Glen yr Afon hotel, said the hotel's restaurant bookings have been affected by the road closures.

She said: "We have had impact in the restaurant as a table of 20 are no longer coming due to the road closures which leaves us down to small number of six. We anticipate this will go down.

"It is impacting the hotel as people are cancelling due to accessibility. It is highly unusual to not have a full restaurant for Sunday lunch - we can cater for up to 65. It is very unusual to have such a low number."

She said due to the change in route they hadn't anticipated the same amount of inconvenience as last year because the road in front of the hotel won't be closed.

She said: "Last year we had a wedding on that day it was chaotic."

She said they had received a letter from organisers about the road closures but felt communication from organiser hadn't improved a great deal.

She said: "This year it has been more of a case of us asking for information and looking for it."

For a full list of road closures visit