Tour of Britain: Cycle race makes north Wales debut

Sir Bradley Wiggins at start of stage four, Tour of Britain Under starting orders: Sir Bradley Wiggins waits for the start of stage four of the Tour of Britain - 190.9km (119 miles) from Stoke-on-Trent to the finish in Llanberis, Gwynedd
Passing St Giles Sir Bradley Wiggins was wearing the yellow jersey through Wrexham
Tour of Britain in Wrexham's Brook Street The cyclists were greeted by crowds as they passed through Brook Street, Wrexham
Cycling Fans at Pen y Pass Fans gather at Pen y Pass - the last climb of the day for the Tour of Britain riders
Peloton ascends Pen y Pass The ascent of Pen y Pass gets underway - a real test of strength and determination
Peloton ascends Pen y Pass The riders make a final push to the summit of the pass - with the Snowdon massif looming above them
Sir Bradley Wiggins ascending Pen y Pass "It always looks easier than it is but it was tough out there," said Sir Bradley - overall tour leader

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Crowds of people have greeted some of the world's best riders, as the Tour of Britain cycle race entered north Wales for the first time.

Cyclists passed through Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy before finishing in Llanberis.

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish took part in Wednesday's stage which was eventually won by Mark Cavendish.

On Thursday, the peloton will tackle a 177km (110-miles) stage from Machynlleth, Powys, to south Wales.

Thousands of spectators turned out for the first three stages of the eight-stage race, which began in Scotland last Sunday, and is due to end in London this Sunday.

Sir Dave Brailsford at the start of stage four, Tour of Britain For Sir Dave Brailsford - team principal for Sky Procycling - Stage Four was coming home. He grew up across from Llanberis in Deiniolen

The first riders entered north Wales shortly after midday on Wednesday, at Bangor-on-Dee, near Wrexham.

In Wrexham, spectators lined the streets as police out riders led a rolling road block through the town centre.

'Massive' success

Speaking after the riders had passed through the town, Wrexham council leader Neil Rogers said: "We were thrilled when it was announced that the Tour of Britain would be coming through Wrexham and it was great to see so many people coming out to support the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish as they made their way through the town.

"The Tour of Britain capped off what has been a massive few weeks for cycling in the region, following hot on the heels of the area hosting Etape Cymru."

Competitors made their way through five of north Wales' six counties before finishing in Llanberis shortly after 16:00 BST.

Road closures were also in force along the route.

Mick Bennett, the race director, said: "This year's two Welsh stages will provide an opportunity for cycling fans from across the country to see The Tour of Britain in action.

Start Quote

This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase north Wales as a destination”

End Quote Hugh Evans North Wales Economic Ambition Board

"Both stages feature some of the best scenery from anywhere on The Tour of Britain but also very demanding climbs that will help shape the nature of this year's race.

Event destination

"Last year it was on the stage to Caerphilly that Jonathan Tiernan Locke won the race showing just how decisive the Welsh mountains can be."

Councillor Hugh Evans, chair of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase north Wales as a destination, not only for cyclists but also visitors and indeed our own residents."

He added: "North Wales is fast earning a name for itself as a destination to host major events.

"We really hope this event will put the spotlight firmly on north Wales and that the success will attract other great events to our region in future."

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