The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, will finish in Wales in 2023 as part of a new long-term agreement organisers SweetSpot have today unveiled with the Welsh Government.
This agreement, which began with this year’s Women’s Tour stage between Wrexham and Welshpool in June, will secure future visits of both races to the country over the next four years.
Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the Tour of Britain back again next year – and to our longer-term partnership with the Tour. Wales’ credentials for hosting cycling events is now well-established. The Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour are the perfect showcase for our landscape and the welcome we provide to the competitors and spectators and we look forward to working with our Local Authority partners as the Tour of Britain continues to reach all points of Wales.”
Next year’s Tour of Britain stage, scheduled for Sunday 10 September 2023, will be the 16th of the modern race that will have taken place in Wales since its return to the calendar in 2004. A further five stages of the Women’s Tour have also been hosted by Welsh regions since the race’s inaugural 2014 edition.
In that time the two events have visited 18 of the 22 local authority regions in the country and generated an economic impact to the Welsh economy running into tens of millions of pounds, according to independent reports by the Frontline agency.
Additionally, the tours have covered almost 3,000 kilometres of racing in Wales, visiting the cities of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and Wrexham, as well as racing through both the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks.
Stages of both the Women’s Tour and men’s Tour of Britain have also showcased projects such as the revamped Carmarthenshire velodrome and the national closed road cycle circuit at Pembrey County Park in Carmarthenshire, plus spectacular tourist destinations ranging from the National Botanic Gardens of Wales to the Great Orme.
Since 2012, 12 stages of the men’s Tour of Britain and two stages of Women’s Tour in Wales have been broadcast live, reaching millions of viewers in the UK and around the world. Every stage held in Wales has also enjoyed free-to-air highlights broadcast in Britain.
Additionally, hundreds and thousands of spectators have seen both free-to-attend events as they have passed through communities large and small across the length and breadth of Wales.
Anne Adams-King, Welsh Cycling CEO, said: “It’s great news that the Tour of Britain will visit Wales again for 2023 and that the race and the Women’s Tour have secured a longer-term partnership with Welsh Government. We hope this news will help boost the popularity of cycling in Wales and help inspire the younger generation to take up their bikes.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour race director, said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with the Welsh Government and to be bringing the final stage of the 2023 Tour of Britain to Wales.
“The long-term support of the Welsh Government is invaluable in allowing us to plan for future stages of the races in Wales. Together we are working to reach as many parts of Wales as possible with both races over the next few years in order to give as many fans as possible the chance to see the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour.”
Following the hosting of the final stage of the 2023 Tour of Britain, the agreement will see the 2024 Women’s Tour start in Wales for the first time ever. In 2025 it will be the turn of the men’s Tour of Britain to start in Wales for the first time since 2018, and then 2026 will see the Women’s Tour’s overall finish in Wales for the first time in seven years.
Further details of the final stage of the Tour of Britain 2023 will be announced in the New Year, with more information on the host venues and routes for the Welsh stages of future editions of both races to be unveiled in due course.
About the AJ Bell Tour of Britain
Relaunched in 2004 after a five-year absence from the calendar, the AJ Bell Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, held annually across eight days in September.
The free-to-watch sporting spectacular features Olympic, world and Tour de France champions, and attracts a roadside audience of over 1.5m spectators. Live coverage of the race is shown daily in the UK on ITV4, in addition to around the world. The AJ Bell Tour of Britain is part of the UCI ProSeries, making it one of the most prestigious sporting events in the sport’s global calendar.