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Race to return to Powys for the first time since June 2019

A bike race

22 April 2022

A bike race
Wrexham and Welshpool will play host to a key stage of the Women's Tour cycle race this year as the UCI Women's WorldTour event visits both venues for the first time.

Over 100 of the world's top riders will race through the heart of mid Wales from Wrexham to Welshpool on stage four (Thursday 9 June), before a day later facing a gruelling uphill finish at Black Mountain in Carmarthenshire (Friday 10 June).

Thanks to in principle support from the Welsh Government, who have twice before backed stages of the race in 2018 and 2019, both Wrexham and Welshpool will feature in the UK's most prestigious women's race for the first occasion.

Wrexham last hosted elite cycling when the opening stage of the men's Tour of Britain finished in the town in 2015, with this year's stage set to play a part in supporting Wrexham's bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

Stage four will start from the heart of Wrexham on Chester Street before skirting the English - Welsh border, passing through Ruabon and travelling alongside the Chirk Aqueduct and close to Chirk Castle, before entering Powys at Rhydycroesau.

The 148-kilometre (92-mile) route will take in an unforgettable, anti-clockwise loop of the Lake Vyrnwy reservoir near Llanwddyn as it winds its way towards the finish line a short distance away from the River Severn in the heart of Welshpool on Broad Street.

Powys have once before hosted a stage finish of the Women's Tour at Builth Wells in 2019, while the men's Tour of Britain has visited the county on six occasions between 2010 and 2016.

Dr Caroline Turner, Chief Executive of Powys County Council said:"The return of the Women's Tour of Britain is wonderful news for the county. The event provides Powys with a fantastic opportunity to showcase the county with a national and international television audience. The stage will provide a much-needed financial boost to the local economy and we hope that residents and visitors get out and support the race."

Councillor Alison Davies, the Mayor of Welshpool, added: "This an exciting boost for the town. It will be a great opportunity for the people of Welshpool to welcome International and National athletes and many visitors to the town.

"It is exciting for us to be given the opportunity to be involved in this national event and a welcome boost for the Welshpool economy following two very difficult years.

"The organisers, competitors and followers of this event can be assured of a very warm welcome in Welshpool."

A day later and riders will be faced with another stern Welsh test, this time in Carmarthenshire, which has become a regular feature on the routes of the men's Tour of Britain and Women's Tour since 2018.

Riders will roll out from sea level at Pembrey Country Park, one of Wales's top visitor attractions, before heading north to Llandovery via Pontyberem, Nantgaredig and Brechfa. Stage five features the most elevation gain of any stage in this year's race (2,065m), coming in just 104.5 kilometres (65 miles) of racing, finishing atop Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

This will be the second hill-top finish in Women's Tour history. Measuring 7.2 kilometres in length, Black Mountain averages a gradient of 5.3% and ramps up to 21% in places. It was previously tackled during the final stage of the 2019 race; British rider Hannah Barnes (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) climbed it the fastest in a time of 20:50.

Mick Bennett, Women's Tour race director, said:"The Welsh stages in this year's Women's Tour are going to play a key role in determining our next champion. Both will offer a true test for the world's best riders, with the thrilling racing set to be played out in front of some of the most spectacular scenery the United Kingdom has to offer. We thank all our stakeholders, including the Welsh Government, for their continued support of the Women's Tour."

The Women's Tour will feature all 14 of the top division UCI Women's WorldTeams, with 18 teams and 108 riders competing in the race, marking the biggest field in the eight-year history of the race.