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Getting ready to welcome some of the world's top female cyclists

Elynor Bäckstedt

3 June 2024

Elynor Bäckstedt
Powys is getting ready to welcome some of the world's top female bike racers as Welshpool hosts the start of the 2024 Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women on Thursday (6 June).

World champion Lotte Kopecky is expected to be among them with her SD-Worx - Protime team one of four UCI Women's World Tour teams competing.

Five UCI Women's Continental teams and six British Continental teams will also be in the lineup, along with an all-star Great Britain team featuring Lizzie Deignan (former world champion and two times winner of the Women's Tour), Elinor Barker (Olympic gold medallist), Elynor Bäckstedt, Anna Henderson, Millie Couzens and Flora Perkins.

Stage one will start from Broad Street at 11.15am and follows a route of 142.5km to Llandudno. Before leaving Powys, it will pass through Berriew, Castle Caereinion, Llanfair Caereinion, Dolanog, Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, Pen-y-bont-fawr and Llangynog.

There will be rolling road closures along the course, to protect the riders, usually lasting about 15 to 20 minutes around the estimated time of arrival and indicated by police escort vehicles.

Motorists are also asked not to park on the route, on the day, and vehicles may be removed if they are causing an obstruction.

Parking is also prohibited on Welshpool's Broad Street and High Street from 6pm on the evening of Wednesday 5 June so, race organiser, British Cycling Events can set up everything needed for the start of an international event.

Elynor Bäckstedt, one of two Welsh cyclists competing with the Great Britain team said: "It will be really nice to have two of us from Wales in the team (includes Elinor Barker). I would love that extra support from the Welsh crowd, and I think we will have it to be honest.

"The Welsh fans, you see them in The Tour for G (Geraint Thomas) and Owain (Doull), they come out in full force, and that's so special. For a nation as small as we have, it really backs its athletes and just gives them so much support, no matter where they are in the world.

"All of a sudden, I'll be at a race in the middle of nowhere and someone will come up to me with a Welsh flag like and say: 'Oh I live down the road. It's so nice to see you!'. You don't expect that, and I think that's something so special about where we come from, people just support each other."

British Cycling Performance Director, Stephen Park said: "We are delighted to be able to confirm such a strong Great Britain Cycling Team for the inaugural Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women.

"We know that the team will relish the rare opportunity to race at home, and for the Paris hopefuls among the squad, the event will play a crucial role in the final preparations for the Games. We know that they'll add real strength and stardust to the race and expect fans will be out in force to show their support."

Powys County Council is a stage one partner. Director of Economic Development and Growth Diane Reynolds said: "We are delighted that this year's Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women is going to start here in Powys, from Welshpool.

"It provides a great opportunity to watch some of the world's top sports stars in action and for us to showcase some of the great cycling routes we have in Powys and the beauty of our natural surroundings."

Amateur female cyclists can also get involved on the day by joining a free guided Breeze ride along the start of the route the professionals will follow.

Participants must be aged 16 or over and have signed up to British Cycling's Let's Ride scheme.

Breeze offers fun, free, inclusive led bike rides for women of all abilities across the UK.

2024 Lloyds Bank Tour of Britain Women race route:

Stage 1 - Thursday 6 June 2024: Welshpool to Llandudno

Stage 2 - Friday 7 June 2024: Wrexham

Stage 3 - Saturday 8 June 2024: Warrington

Stage 4 - Sunday 9 June 2024: Greater Manchester: National Cycling Centre to Leigh

PICTURE: Elynor Bäckstedt, who is hoping for some extra support from the Powys crowds as a Welsh rider. Picture: SWpix