Shropshire Star

'Absolutely fantastic news' as Welshpool set to welcome major cycle race again

A huge cycling event will be coming to the region in a few months' time with thousands of people expected to descend on a market town for the start.

The peloton pass Lake Vyrnwy during stage four of The Women's Tour from Wrexham to Welshpool. Picture date: Thursday June 9, 2022. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The Grand Départ of the Tour of Britain Women will be at Welshpool on June 6 and a town and county councillor thinks it is "absolutely fantastic" that the race will be heading to the Powys market town for the second time in two years.

Councillor Graham Breeze said: "It is absolutely fantastic news for Welshpool and the area. Of course it isn't the first time that the race has been to the town.

"The last time there was an absolutely massive turnout and it was quite the spectacle. It is really positive for Welshpool and the local businesses."

There will inevitably be road closures around town on the day as the race moves through the region but Councillor Breeze said the "slight disruption" this will cause are well and truly "outweighed" by the benefits.

"Restaurants, cafes and other businesses will I am sure benefit when so many people come to the town. Like other towns we are struggling a bit but we don't have that many retail outlets empty at the moment, although there are some big ones.

"But something like this can only help, and you can't put a price on that. This is a lovely part of the world and through the coverage they will see what's on offer and hopefully visit or revisit."

After stage one takes the riders from Welshpool to Llandudno on Thursday, June 6, it will travel to Wrexham on Friday, June 7 before heading to Warrington and Manchester.

From a Wrexham Council point of view the news is also positive as it will again put the sporting spotlight on the city borough.

Councillor Nigel Williams, Lead member for Economy and Regeneration, Wrexham, said: “Once again the sporting spotlight will be on Wrexham as we continue to be a welcoming location for national events.

“After the success of last year’s Tour of Britain we have another opportunity to showcase the best of our area and this will bring huge benefits to the local economy.

“I know many enthusiasts will be looking forward to the event and to seeing the elite of British cycling as they race through the area. It will give many within the city centre and surrounding areas the opportunity to give the cyclists a warm Welsh welcome to Wrexham as they pass through.”

The race will see the world’s top female riders and teams go head-to-head across four tough stages of racing, in what will be the first major international stage race delivered by British Cycling Events.

Hundreds of thousands of fans will line the streets for what is the nation’s biggest free-to-attend sporting event, as the country gears up for another thrilling summer of cycling.

The race will begin in Welshpool, situated in the heart of mid Wales. Welshpool hosted the thrilling finish of stage four of the 2022 Women’s Tour, where Australia’s Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) sprinted to victory. The stage will see riders head north to the picturesque seaside town of Llandudno, in what will be a challenging start to the race.

Stage two will see riders stay in Wales for a start and finish in Wrexham, which also featured in the 2022 Women’s Tour. The rolling route will take in a series of challenging climbs in the dramatic Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales.

Full routes for each of the stages, along with the teams and riders competing, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jeremy Miles, Welsh Government Economy Secretary, said: “Wales and cycling go hand in hand, with our spectacular scenery and routes providing elite and recreational cyclists alike with both challenge and enjoyment.

“This is a welcome return to Wales for this fantastic event and provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Welshpool, Llandudno, Wrexham and the surrounding area to an ever-growing cycling audience. We are very pleased to have been able to support the event and look forward to providing a warm ‘Croeso’ to all in June.”

Diane Reynolds, Powys County Council’s Director of Economic Development and Growth, said: “We are delighted that this year’s Tour of Britain Women is going to start in Powys, from one of our many beautiful market towns, Welshpool.

“It is a town that cycling enthusiasts will enjoy visiting and the area includes many places of interest, and lots of great places to eat or drink a coffee while taking in the race action and exceptional scenery.”