THE largest multi-sport festival in Europe – Long Course Weekend Wales – is set to attract more than 10,000 athletes and tens of thousands more supporters to Pembrokeshire this week.

The tenth year of the huge event, centred on Tenby, will – for the first time – see road closures in operation in the south of the county on Saturday as 3,500 riders take part in the Wales Sportive.

There will also be road closures for the Wales marathon event on Sunday.

Said Matthew Evans, co-founder of the Long Course Weekend: “For the past nine years we have run the sportive on open roads, but the demand for the event, television coverage and locals moving in their day-to-day business means we have now moved to dedicated roads for traffic and dedicated roads for the cyclists.”

Event organisers have warned of increased traffic and long delays in areas around Tenby and Pembroke during the closures, which have been agreed with Pembrokeshire County Council.

The main A477 and A40 roads will remain open throughout both days and provide east to west access during the whole weekend.

Recommended car parking in Tenby is at Greenhill School throughout the event from 4pm tomorrow, July 5, while buses will operate from New Hedges to shuttle supporters between Saundersfoot and Tenby on Saturday.

Athletes will compete in a variety of distances in the swimming, cycling and running events.

Those complete all three events at the longest distances throughout the three days win the much sought-after Long Course Weekend medal.

The first main sporting event is on Friday evening when the Wales Swim gets underway from Tenby's North beach at 7pm. But first into the water will be the youngsters, with the LCWKinder event starting at 5pm.

Saturday’s Wales Sportive will see cyclists covering either 112 miles, 66 miles or 45 miles of the Wales Sportive, with the first wave – the 112-mile novices – leaving Tenby’s Salterns car park between 6.30am and 7am.

The first bikes are expected back to the red-carpet finish in Tenby’s Tudor Square at around 10.30am.

Sunday is the run day which rounds off the weekend. Athletes will be running the Wales Marathon (starting in Tudor Square at 10am); the Wales Half Marathon (12noon, from Main Street, Pembroke) or the Wales 10k (1.30pm, Manorbier Castle).

All the distances end in Tudor Square, where the Long Course Weekend trophy presentation will take place at 4.30pm.

For more information about timings and road closures, including those for specific areas, visit