Denbigh will begin proceedings as the county hosts its first ever stage start of the Tour of Britain on the morning of September 7 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.
Welsh Government, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “We’re looking forward to 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 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.”
Wales has hosted stages of the Tour of Britain annually since 2010, with last year’s event beginning overall in the country, on Anglesey.
The Tour of Britain has passed through Denbighshire in each of the previous three editions, but 2016 will be the first time the race has started from the county.
Councillor Huw Jones, Denbighshire County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure and Youth “We are absolutely delighted to have secured the start of the North Wales stage this year, as we feel it will have great benefits to the tourism industry here in Denbighshire, as well as showcasing what the region has to offer.
“North Wales is fast earning itself a reputation for hosting and staging major events, with the Tour of Britain a prime example of how councils and event organisers work closely together to deliver these spectacular events. The support shown by our communities in recent years has well and truly added to the event’s success and we look forward to welcoming the sights and sounds of the event to Denbighshire in September”.
Powys hosted a stage start of the Tour of Britain annually from 2010 to 2014, but this year will mark the first time a stage has finished in the county.
Cllr Avril York, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “I’m delighted that this fantastic sporting spectacle is returning to Powys – the green heart of Wales. We have been proud to host five Tour of Britain starts since 2010 but to have a stage finish in the county for the first time is truly exciting.
“Not only will this attract thousands of people, hosting a stage finish will give the area a huge economic boost. We’re looking forward to making this a memorable occasion for all and I’m sure our county will once again warmly welcome the race when it returns in the autumn.”
Previous editions of the Tour of Britain have infrequently passed through Rhondda Cynon Taff, most recently in 2012, but the county borough has never hosted the race before.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Council Business, Cllr Maureen Webber, said: “It is positive news for our county that Aberdare will be hosting the start of Stage Five of this year’s Tour of Britain.
“The Tour or Britain is a huge event and one which we cannot wait to welcome to Rhondda Cynon Taf on Thursday 8 September. Hosting the race gives us a great opportunity to showcase our County Borough and all it has to offer and really put Rhondda Cynon Taf on the map.
“We look forward to giving a warm valleys welcome to all the riders, their teams and all the many spectators who I am sure will be lining the streets to watch the race as it passes through the county.“
Further details of the routes of both stages will be announced in the early Summer.
Commenting on the Welsh Stages, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said;
“We have worked with our partners at Denbighshire and Powys Councils over the past year’s to ensure that we can bring a Start and a Finish to each respectively for the first time in the history of the modern Tour of Britain. Both council’s have supported the Tour of Britain in the past so we are pleased to be able to link the two with a new route.
“The stage route south through the heart of Wales will use a lot of roads previously unvisited by the Tour of Britain in the Cambrian Mountains including a great deal of climbing, before a flat run in along the Wye Valley to the finish on the Royal Welsh Showground, which will see an intriguing battle between the teams of the sprinters and overall contenders.
“We are pleased to be returning to South Wales with this year’s Tour of Britain and a new start venue in Aberdare before the race heads across the country taking in many new towns and villages in an area renown for its cycling passion.”
The Tour of Britain will begin in Glasgow on Sunday 4 September and finish in the heart of London on Sunday 11 September. Cumbria and Cheshire East will host previous stages, before subsequent stages take the race to the South West of England, including a summi t finish at Haytor on Dartmoor and a challenging circuit race in Bristol on the penultimate day.
For the fifth successive year fans can look forward to enjoying daily live coverage of all eight stages on ITV4, with the channel broadcasting a three-hour live programme from each stage, plus one-hour of highlights every evening during the race.
Chain Reaction Cycles continue their partnership with the race and sponsorship of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, won in 2015 by Team WIG GIN’s Owain Doull, while UK parcel carrier Yodel will continue to sponsor the daily intermediate YodelDirect Sprints classification, which Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling won last September.
ŠKODA remain official car suppliers and sponsors of the King of the Mountains jersey, also won by Williams in 2015.
The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.
Sunday 4 September
Glasgow to Castle Douglas
Monday 5 September
Carlisle to Kendal
Tuesday 6 September
Congleton to Tatton Park, Knutsford
Wednesday 7 September
Denbigh to Builth Wells
Thursday 8 September
Aberdare to Bath
Friday 9 September
Sidmouth to Haytor, Dartmoor
Stage Seven a
Saturday 10 September
Bristol Stage Individual Time Trial
Stage Seven b
Saturday 10 September
Bristol Stage Circuit Race
Sunday 11 September
London Stage presented by TfL
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