An iconic cycle race will be back in Powys next month when the the Royal Welsh Showground gets ready to host its first Tour of Britain stage finish for the first time.
The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest cycle race, will see cycling’s elite return to the county in less than four weeks when the race finishes at the Royal Welsh Showground on Wednesday 7 September.
It is the first time that Powys has hosted a stage finish with the county set to experience the dramatic climax to Stage Four as the riders head towards the Showground in Llanelwedd after starting in north Wales. It is the longest stage in this year’s race at 217 kilometers.
Starting in Denbigh in Denbighshire, the peloton will enter Powys and will go through Llangynog, Llanfihangel, Llwydiarth, Foel, Cemmaes, Llanbrynmair, Staylittle, Llanidloes, Rhayader, Newbridge-on-Wye then into the showground.
The council and the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has been working hard since the it was announced that a stage finish would take place in the county to put on a series of events on the day of the race to make it an unforgettable experience for visitors.
The first event of the day is the Builth Sportive which starts at 8am and there is a £20 fee to take. Organised by John Lloyd Racing Events, it will start and finish at the showground and those taking part can choose to ride either 25 miles or 60 miles following a route along quiet roads with fabulous scenery.
From 9.30am, the Showground will open up their large car parks where people will be able to park for free, in time for the opening of the Tour of Britain’s promotional zone, which opens at 10am.
During the day, Mountain Bike Wales will be there with a pump track to test your riding skills while Welsh Cycling will have a challenging turbo trainer. Visitors will be able to use their own pedal power to make a smoothie with Sustrans and Techniquest are bring their ‘Crunch Project’ so people can again use their pedal power to race vehicles around a scalectrix track.
There will be a range of accessible and electric bikes to try out courtesy of the Elan Valley Visitor Centre and the Brecon Beacons National Park and Mid Wales My Way will be promoting the great rides in the area. Welsh Hearts will be offering CPR training with the help of ‘Dai Fib’ and Miss Firefly is a larger than life performer who will be there on the day.
Visitors will also be able to marvel at bikes past and present with the National Cycle Museum and there will be activities from the road safety team.
Live coverage of the stage will be shown on a giant screen from 1-4pm with the riders racing into the Showground for an exciting stage finale followed by the podium presentations.
Cllr Avril York, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We’re delighted that our county is hosting a Tour of Britain stage finish for the first time and that this fantastic sporting spectacle is returning to Powys – the green heart of Wales.
“We have worked extremely hard the last few months to provide events and entertainment at the Showground so visitors can then enjoy the experience before the riders cross the finish line. For those who cannot get to the finish, I would urge to go out on the streets and cheer on the riders as they make their way through our county.
“This high profile event will have a huge economic impact on our county and will provide a financial boost to local businesses. The stage finish will also provide a huge opportunity to showcase the beauty of our county to millions across the world when the event is broadcast worldwide.”
Steve Hughson, Chief Executive of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, said: “The Royal Welsh Showground will make a fantastic backdrop for the stage 4 finish of this iconic race. We are delighted to be able to work with Powys and the Tour of Britain to provide a free opportunity to get close to the action, enjoy the atmosphere and activities at the showground and take part in a local sportive.”