USK residents of all ages have been showcasing their artistic talents ahead of the Velothon Wales cycling race on July 8.

Colourful exhibitions of upcycled bikes will greet thousands of riders when they race through the town next month in Wales’ largest closed-road cycling event.

Residents aged from four to 84 have decorated 70 rainbow-coloured bicycle wheels, adding an extra splash of colour to a town already famous for its floral displays, for Usk Bike Off 2018.

Abergavenny-based artist Danielle Farrington has produced a further 12 designs to accompany the residents’ artwork, the theme of which was to celebrate everything they loved about their town.

Ms Farrington believes the sense of community spirit involved in creating the artworks will make a big impression on the race’s participants.

She said: “It was fantastic to work with people of all ages in the community who came together to share their love of Monmouthshire.

“People have painted, decoupaged, written poems and made mosaics to tell their story.

“A team of volunteers joined us on Friday to help decorate the town with the finished wheels – what a wonderful community spirit Usk has!”

The Velothon Wales event will see participants of all abilities take on challenging road routes across the country.

Seasoned cyclists will take on the notorious Tumble and Caerphilly Mountain climbs on the Velothon 140 route, which starts and finishes in the heart of Cardiff, taking in some of Wales’ most breathtaking scenery.

The Velothon 125 offers the same experience, minus the gruelling Tumble climb, and the new Velothon 60 route will give newer cyclists a gentler introduction to closed-road cycling events.

It is this participants in this Velothon 60 event who will be welcomed to Usk by the colourful display.

The point-to-point route will begin in Usk before racing through Pontypool and up the challenging Caerphilly Mountain, before a fast descent towards the Welsh capital and a grandstand finish on the iconic King Edward VII Avenue.

Velothon Wales event director Naomi Warner said: “Thousands of Velothon Wales riders were blown away by the support of the Usk community last time, and this year’s field are in for another treat.

“The town will become the hub for new riders as many get in the saddle at this year’s revamped event.

“Riders always get the warmest of welcomes by the people of Monmouthshire and the latest ‘Bike off’ project will be a key component to the carnival atmosphere awaiting riders on July 8.”

Councillor Bob Greenland, cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture said: “Monmouthshire residents are sending out a warm welcome to cyclists training for and taking part in this year’s Velothon.

“Usk is a beautiful town to visit and looks amazing decorated with brightly coloured bikes wheels telling the story of the town.

“On July8 the short route is starting in Usk, I would urge cyclists and their supporters to spend time in the beautiful historic town during the event – there are wonderful shops, pubs and hotels to visit.”