Fans won't be allowed at start of Welsh Tour of Britain stages

The race has teamed up with the local councils to comply with Covid-19 rules in the local areas

Start at stage two of the 2019 Tour of Britain in Kelso
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Spectators will be stopped from attending the start of the two Welsh Tour of Britain stages in this year's race. 

Race organiser Sweetspot has confirmed to Cycling Weekly that fans cannot visit the start villages of stages three and four, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The third stage is the team time trial between Llandeilo and the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, with stage four of the race set to start in the town of Aberaeron, as the peloton will begin their second day of challenging racing in Wales, with a summit finish on the Great Orme outside of Llandudno.

A spokesperson for the race organiser said: "There are no fans in the start area for the starts at Llandeilo (Stage Three) and Aberaeron (Stage Four).  

As you can imagine we’ve worked very closely with all the local authorities and Welsh Government over the past 18-plus months on the route so any decisions are made jointly with ourselves and stakeholders to meet any national regulations and to ensure we do everything to mitigate risks associated with Covid-19 transmission."

While fans will be allowed on the road side to watch the racing away from the start Ceredigion county council, which is hosting stage four, is still encouraging fans to watch on the TV with council leader Ellen ap Gwynn adding: "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 race on ITV4."

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The council said in a statement, reported on the Welsh site The National: "Spectators will not be allowed at the start of the fourth stage location,

"Nevertheless, spectators can continue to support the event along the route while being mindful of social distancing and practice road safety as a pedestrian, cyclist and fan.

"Fans can also enjoy watching the event from the comfort of their own home as it will be televised."

The decision for this "closed start" is to maintain public safety as large crowds are expected at the start and finish of each stage in the eight-day long race up the country from Cornwall to Aberdeen.."

Fans are, for the moment, allowed at the stages finishes but it is not clear whether that will remain the case.

Some of the sports biggest names are expected to ride this year's Tour of Britain with two superstars, 34-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Belgian champion and Monument winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), both confirmed to be racing on British roads in mid September.

The Tour of Britain begins on Sunday, September 5 in Penzance, Cornwall and ends eight days later on Sunday, September 12 in Aberdeen, Highlands of Scotland.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.