FURTHER details of what promises to be a stunning edition of the Tour of Britain in September have today been revealed, confirming the planned return of the race to Wales for two stages on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 September 2021, in line with the planned move of Wales to Level 0 on 7 August.
Wales will host not only the longest and arguably toughest stage of the race, from Aberaeron to the summit of the Great Orme above Llandudno on stage four, but also a team time trial for the first, pitting the world’s top teams against each other on a 27.5-kilometre route in Carmarthenshire.
Rescheduled to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 17th edition of the UK’s most prestigious stage race (Sunday 5-12 September) will begin in Cornwall, covering 1,320km (820m) before the finish in Aberdeen, with Scotland also hosting two stages. All the action will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK and around the world.
The race will go ahead subject to local conditions and in line with relevant national guidelines and UCI protocols. Organisers SweetSpot are working closely with the Welsh Government and all the local authorities along the route in Wales to ensure that the event can take place safely.
The last full stage of the Tour of Britain to take place in Wales was in September 2018, when Carmarthenshire hosted the Grand Depart of the race. This year sees a team time trial feature for only the second time in Tour of Britain history on stage three (Tuesday 7 September), and for the first time in Wales.
The Carmarthenshire team time trial stage will see the world’s best tackle a 27.5-kilometre route, starting from Llandeilo and finishing at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which is home to the world’s largest single-span glasshouse.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said:
“We have made no secret of our ambition for Carmarthenshire to become the Cycling Hub of Wales, and being chosen yet again to host a stage of the Tour of Britain shows that we are now the premier location for cycling in Wales.
“With both vision and investment, we are delivering for local people enjoying cycling for leisure or travel, bringing tourists in to enjoy our scenic locations and supporting our economy, and attracting the world’s top cyclists in major televised events.
“We are delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain for the third time and look forward to an event that we know inspires people of all abilities to get on their bike.”
Stage four (Wednesday 8 September) – the Queen stage of the 2021 race – will culminate with a finish atop the Great Orme in Llandudno. The 215-kilometre route will take the race to parts of Wales for the first time in modern Tour history, including Aberaeron, the start host venue, Aberystwyth, Borth and Barmouth. A tough ending to the stage features Coed y Brenin Forest Park, Snowdonia National Park and an ascent of the Great Orme’s Marine Drive toll road before tackling the 1.9km, 9.8% average climb that runs parallel to the famous tramway up to the finish.
Leader of Ceredigion County Council Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said,
‘We’re delighted to welcome the Tour of Britain to Ceredigion this year. As the tour travels up the wonderful coastline from Aberaeron towards the north of the County, people will be able to experience the breath-taking scenery through the extensive coverage of the Tour.”
The Tour of Britain last visited the Great Orme in 2014 when Mark Renshaw won a stage finishing in Llandudno, but the modern Tour of Britain has never climbed to the summit.
Councillor Louise Emery, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Leisure and the Deputy Leader said;
“We’re really excited to welcome back the Tour of Britain this September. After a year in Wales with no major events we’re looking forward to getting the industry moving again and continue our ambitions as set out in our Event Strategy 2018-2022 to support our economy, raise our profile and offer a dynamic place to live, work and visit. See you at the finish line!”
Detailed routes and timetables for the Tour of Britain stages can now be found by visiting tourofbritain.co.uk/stages while more information for spectators for both Welsh stages will be announced in the coming weeks.
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said:
“This year’s Tour of Britain route is truly spectacular, covering a greater geographical area than we’ve ever done before while also ticking off several things we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Be it visiting Cornwall and Aberdeenshire, hosting stage finishes on the summit of Great Orme and in the shadow of the Angel of the North, reintroducing a team time trial and visiting noteworthy and historic host venues new and old, I have a feeling that this year’s race will be one for the ages. There are still fantastic opportunities for partners to get involved in the event, so why not join us and be a part of what will be an unforgettable week and a fantastic celebration of Britain and cycling!”
Six British teams have already been confirmed for the Tour of Britain, including the Great Britain national team, with the full roster of 18 teams to be confirmed later this month.
With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, partnership opportunities for brands looking to be associated with Britain’s biggest professional cycling race are available. These unrivalled opportunities range from regional level support of individual stages to jersey and title sponsorships. Visit sweetspotgroup.co.uk/sponsorship-opportunities for more information.