Thousands of people flocked to a Mid Wales town today to cheer Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish as he raced through the area, as Bradley Wiggins was unable to take part.
The Olympic gold medalist did not start today after suffering a stomach bug overnight.
Up to 5,000 people were expected to line the streets of Welshpool for the start of stage six of the Tour of Britain cycle race which was setting off from Powis Castle today.
Cavendish, who has become a national sporting icon over the past year, is competing for Team Sky in the race, which will see him finish in Caerphilly, South Wales, later today after racing through Montgomery, Kerry, Newtown and Llandrindod Wells.
Fans started arriving on the streets from 8am to get the best place to see the stars who were setting off at 10.30am. David Jones, from Llanfair Caereinion, was one of the early arrivals. The 27-year-old builder said: “I wouldn’t miss this for the world. They are my favourite sportsmen and people don’t realise how tough they are.”
Freda Davies, of Welshpool, was representing the National Cycle Collection museum, based in Llandrindod Wells.
She said: “I’m so excited and it already looks so much busier than last year. Cycling is really enjoying a boom period.”