Wales welcomes two stages of British Cycling’s premier road cycling event – The Tour of Britain – as the cyclists arrive in Wales today for the start of Stage 4 in Denbigh where Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates officially started the race.
The Welsh Government supports the event and Wales has hosted stages of the Tour of Britain annually since 2010, with on Anglesey hosting the start of the event last year. Cycling and Mountain Biking contributes £54 million to the Welsh economy.
Denbigh began proceedings as Denbighshire hosted their first ever stage start on the morning of the 7 September, before Stage Four heads through Flintshire and on to Powys, for the first ever stage finish in the county at the Royal Welsh Showground outside Builth Wells.
A day later Stage Five will re-start from Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taf, a new venue for the Tour of Britain. That stage will cross South Wales, finishing in Bath.
Eight medallists from the Rio Olympics headline the start list for the 2016 Tour of Britain, a trio of Gold medallists in Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull and Elia Viviani headline the 126-rider list for the eight day race that will finish in central London on Sunday 11 September.
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
“It was an honour to start the Welsh stages in Denbigh as the cyclists head through Wales and we’re delighted to be supporting and hosting the Tour Britain again this year and thrilled that some new venues and locations will get a taste of the action. The Tour of Britain is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Wales’ unique and beautiful landscape to the world, as well as highlighting our ability to host a variety of major events. The event gives cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step. The spectators in Wales have always given the cyclists a real warm Welsh welcome and have created a fantastic atmosphere, I hope that people from across Wales come out to support the event again this year. Being a part of an event such as this can really inspire people to want to take up the sport and 2016 being Wales’ Year of Adventure gives the perfect opportunity to plan some two-wheeled adventures in Wales.”
In total 21 teams will contest the 2016 Tour of Britain, including 11 UCI WorldTour teams, the highest number to have competed in Britain since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart. Seven British teams will line-up for the Tour of Britain, led by Team Sky and also including Team WIGGINS and a Great Britain national team.
Three-hours of live coverage will be broadcast from each stage of the Tour of Britain, with both ITV4 and the BIKE Channel UK showing the race live, while ITV4 will also air a one-hour highlights programme each day.
For further media information please visit www.thetour.co.uk/press