Bradley Wiggins, Tour of Britain pass site of world’s first railway steam engine

The sun came out today for Sir Bradley Wiggins and the cyclists racing on Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain through Merthyr Tydfil and the Brecon Beacons.

No time to waste with a look at the historic site of the Penydarren Iron Works as the tour riders cycled past and up the old incline towards Dowlais.

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Some of the crowd – including pupils from Cyfarthfa High School – are cheering for ‘Wiggo’ as the peloton with the Sky team at the front pedals up the hill.

A stone’s throw away is the site of the old ironworks where Richard Trevithick built the Penydarren locomotive to pull wagons of smelted iron for nine and a half miles along the Merthyr tramroad to the Glamorganshire Canal basin at Abercynon. I wonder if Sir Bradley, Mark Cavendish and the others know? It was back in 1804 and two decades before bicycles were invented.

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Here they go past. That’s Sir Bradley @bradwiggins in the yellow jersey, isn’t it?

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And that’s Mark Cavendish in the white jersey.

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It’s a bit of a puff if you’re near the back.


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And they’re off towards Dowlais and then to Cwmbargoed – where the coal that powered Trevithick’s steam engine was mined. Oh no, one rider’s stopped because of a puncture. But he get’s another bike and sets off to catch up.

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