The 2nd of July 2023 sees the start of the third edition of the Pan Celtic Race. With varied annual routes taking in the six Celtic nations; Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany, the race takes full advantage of the spectacular scenery found in the UK and Northern France, which each Celtic nation offering a unique flavour and character to the event. Jump aboard the 'Welsh Embassy', grab a cup of tea and follow the race here.
We've been proud to support the race from it's beginning, and we're continuing that support this year.
Dotwatchers can follow the race below:
The 4th edition of the PCR takes riders to Brittany in continental Europe, starting in St Malo. The route leads riders through scenic back lanes and coastal roads towards Fougères and Rennes, known for their stunning architecture. Continuing west, the journey passes Carnac's ancient sites and arrives at Quiberon, a beautiful seaside resort. From there, riders experience Breton culture in small villages and rural landscapes, crossing viaducts, forests, and lakes.
The Brittany portion of the route ends at Mont St Michel, before heading to the Normandy beaches and Ouistreham as the gateway to the UK. After reaching Portsmouth, the tour takes a quick tour of the South Downs and heads to Wales, following King Offa's Dyke trail and finishing in Llandudno, North Wales.
Riders to follow
We have something a bit different for you this time round. Over the course of sponsoring the Pan Celtic Race, members of the Restrap team have thrown their hat in the ring, taking on the main field and putting themselves in the hurt locker for your enjoyment. This time round two members of our team will be racing each other.
Nathan Hughes, 32
Restrap MD & Founder
I’ve ridden many different types of bike over the years from BMX to mtb and road. I spend the majority of my time these days split between my road bike and gravel bike. I would like to think I have a few years experience with consistently cycling week on week for 15 years.
My race preparation has been very similar to my usual riding, trying to spend as much time on the bike. Obviously when you have an event or race coming up it's always in the back of the mind that you should be riding so I’ve done a few more miles than I would usually would but I’ve tried not to complicate it too much and just ride bikes.
It is difficult with a race like the Pan Celtic to strategise too much. I’ve ridden enough miles to know you can’t predict how you’ll feel in the moment. I don’t really like having a master plan as it can sometimes be the downfall when you don’t hit your target or something goes wrong. I prefer to go with the flow a bit more.
My aim is to ride far, eat plenty and hopefully find time for a pint.
Woodrup Custom Build (learn more here)
Shimano 105 Groupset
Race Saddle Bag, Race Frame Bag, Race Aero Bar Bag, Race Top Tube Bag, Race Stem Bags x2
Key piece of kit: JBL Bluetooth Speaker mounted on a Quadlock mount - for the tunes.
We made a video on Nathan's custom build a while back - you can view it below:
Alex Dyson, 29
Brand Manager at Restrap
I caught the bug for two wheeled adventures in 2016, when I rode from France to Spain with some friends (including Nathan) for my first bike tour. Since then I’ve ridden all around the UK, USA, Croatia, Japan, Tenerife and Turkey.
I’ve got no experience in training for an endurance race but I developed a plan at the end of last year based on what I felt would appropriately condition my body for long days in the saddle over the first half of this year in time for the race. This was built with a combination of consistent riding throughout the week, targeted intervals, endurance rides that stepped up every month in distance or pace and I also completed TransWales in May which I was pleased to come 9th in.
My training has been so numbers focused but my race is going to be the opposite. Rather than focusing on watts, mph or distance I am going to be making my decisions based on how my body feels. I have no strategy in place for how long or far I’ll ride a day, where I’ll sleep or how quickly I will do it. I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out, I feel like flexibility is an important asset in races of this distance and I will be making all of my decisions on the fly. The goal is to have a good time and to test my own capabilities, I can’t wait.
Stayer Groadinger UG (learn more here)
Shimano 105 Groupset
Race Saddle Bag, Race Frame Bag, Race Bar Bag, Race Top Tube Bag Long, Race Stem Bags x2
Key piece of kit: K-Lite charger, because it charges my stuff
Images from Pan Celtic & Rupert Hartley