Inaugural Grinduro Wales a Big Success: Forced hiatus results in the Perfect Party-To-Race Ratio!

Grinduro first landed in California back in 2015 and set an immediate benchmark for what the future of gravel events could be. Rather than being solely a race, Grinduro set itself apart from rivals by being a combination of race and party. The initial event proved to be hugely popular and has now grown into a six-event world series, with rounds in 2021 in locations as diverse as Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and Australia, as well as its spiritual home in California, USA.

grinduro wales report 2021

Last weekend saw the inaugural running of Grinduro Wales, with the purple Grinduro party machine arriving into Machynlleth (known as Mach by the locals) in mid-Wales. Luckily the doom-laden long-range weather forecasts proved to be wildly inaccurate and the whole weekend was blessed with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine bursting through to light up the arena, set up close to the heart of this small, but vibrant town.

grinduro wales report 2021

Nearly 500 riders took on the challenging course, which comprised a series of non-timed ‘liaison’ stages and chip-timed race stages. The route included everything from lung-busting fire road climb, to flowy singletrack to some demanding technical descents including the final series of drops back into the arena. The course had been designed so that different cycling abilities & skills were required – fitness for the climbs, technical competency to overcome some of the challenges the trails threw up, and most importantly – the ability to smile and enjoy the ride, no matter how steep the climbs were that the course designer had shoehorned in.

grinduro wales report 2021

Event host, Canyon, commented “Steep. Loose. Technical. That describes the course at Grinduro Wales in a nutshell. While the riding was epic, these events are really all about the people. With an inclusive and welcoming environment, events like this really highlight cycling at its best.”

James Deane from Northern Consultancy Co, who oversees the  Grinduro Global series, said “After the success of Grinduro Scotland events held between 2017 and 2019, which was loved by so many riders, Wales always felt like it might be that difficult second album. Luckily the atmosphere all weekend was incredible and the course was unreal. We’ve managed to continue Grinduro’s reputation as an event that pushes the boundaries of what is possible on a drop-bar bike. With so many happy faces, I think we nailed it… See you back in Mach in 2022!”

grinduro wales report 2021

Initial feedback from riders at the event was that they found it a challenge, particularly some of the exposed slate sections, but that they really enjoyed the feeling of being pushed and that the combination of a great venue, fantastic weather, and a super friendly atmosphere made the event a huge success. Plans are already being hatched to come back to Mach in 2022.

grinduro wales report 2021
Pro Women’s Category Winners – 1st Alice Barnes, 2nd Ella Conolly, 3rd Martha Gill
grinduro wales report 2021
Ride For Unity

Grinduro Diversity Pledge

Diversity matters to us and we relish being an event made up of the widest range of people!

We are committed to ensuring our events are welcoming, safe, and inclusive regardless of gender, race or status. Starting this year, all GRINDURO Global events will invite 25 riders from underrepresented communities to participate each year with free, sponsored entries.

Northern Consultancy Co worked with Ride For Unity founder, Kofi Kyei, on inviting riders to attend Grinduro Wales. For many, this was their first experience of a mass-participation cycling event, and riding off-road although daunting at first, was taken in their stride, with smiles wider than the Dyfi Valley within which they rode.

“I would like to thank James for inviting us to such an awesome event and an incredible experience. I speak for all the Ride For Unity riders when I say this will not be our last Grinduro!” –

More details of the Grinduro event series can be found on their website:

Additional photos by Stephen Smith Photography

Stephen Smith Photography