Tour of Britain 2023 to finish in Wales as new long term agreement unveiled.
The Tour of Britain organisers Sweetspot have signed a long term deal with the Welsh Government to bring the UK’s biggest professional cycle race to Wales over the next four years.
The agreement, which began with the 2022 Women’s Tour stage between Wrexham and Welshpool in June, will secure future visits of both races to the principality. The venue for the 2023 finish is yet to be disclosed but is scheduled for Sunday 10 September 2023. It 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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Since 2004 the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour of together have visited 18 of the 22 local authority regions in the country covering almost 1800 miles (3,000 kilometres) of racing in Wales, visiting the cities of Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, and Wrexham, as well as the Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons National Parks.
According to independent reports by the Frontline agency the benefit to the Welsh economy has been in the tens of millions of pounds. The race has also enabled the showcase of both community projects and Wales’ rich portfolio of tourist attractions, from the revamped Carmarthenshire velodrome and the national closed road cycle circuit at Pembrey County Park in Carmarthenshire, to the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and the Great Orme.
Tour of Britain organisers hope to build on the support from the hundreds of thousands of road-side fans and millions more on TV. 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.
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