Thousands of people created a carnival atmosphere as world champion rider Mark Cavendish led the Tour of Britain cyclists through Mid Wales.
Fans had flocked to Powis Castle and lined the streets of Welshpool to catch a glimpse of the star – but many were left disappointed after Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was forced to miss the race due to illness.
An estimated 5,000 people, many waving flags and banners, watched the start of the race, providing a ‘massive economic boost’ to Powys, with the riders making their way through Montgomery, Kerry, Newtown and Llandrindod Wells en route to Caerphilly.
But many couldn’t hide their sadness at missing out on the chance to see ‘Wiggo’ up close.
County councillor for Welshpool, Ann Holloway, said: “It has been a magnificent event and has put Welshpool and Powis Castle on the map again, but I am so disappointed for the people who have come that Bradley Wiggins has had to pull out.
“Hundreds of school children are here to see an Olympic gold medallist in the flesh, so it is a great shame, but Mark Cavendish is here and the people have once again done Mid Wales proud.”
Luke Rowe, a Team Sky colleague of Wiggins and Cavendish, said: “It is marvellous to be in Wales for this stage of the Tour of Britain and even more special for me because I am from Cardiff.”
Councilor Graham Brown, Powys County Council board member for regeneration, said: “This is one of the greatest, if not the greatest sporting day Powys has ever seen and it is going to provide massive economic boost to the area. Thousands are lining the route through the county and that is a great thing.”