The stunning Black Mountain climb near Llangadog will be the backdrop for the Women’s Tour’s toughest stage finish to date when the UK’s most prestigious women’s cycle race returns to Carmarthenshire in June.
Organisers SweetSpot have today unveiled details of stage five (Friday 10 June), the Women’s Tour’s second visit to Carmarthenshire in editions and third Welsh stage in race history, to mark International Women’s Day.
This stage is set to play a key role in the battle to succeed Dutch rider Demi Vollering as Women’s Tour champion.
Riders will roll out from sea level at Pembrey Country Park, one of Wales’s top visitor attractions, which has also previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.
The day’s finish line comes atop Black Mountain situated on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
This will be the second hill-top finish in Women’s Tour history, although this one is significantly harder than that at Burton Dassett Country Park, which featured in the 2019 race. Measuring 7.2 kilometres in length, Black Mountain averages a gradient of 5.3% and ramps up to 21% in places.
It was previously tackled during the final stage of the 2019 race; British rider Hannah Barnes (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) climbed it the fastest in a time of 20:50.
Carmarthenshire County Council are supporting this stage as a part of their commitment for more people to get fit and active through cycling, whilst growing the local cycling tourism economy.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, said; “To be chosen as a host a stage of the women’s tour once again goes to show that we remain as the top location for cycling in Wales attracting the world’s top cyclists in major televised events. Not only are we able to showcase high profile events such as this but with the inspiring views of our countryside, delicious pit stops and cycle friendly places to stay, the county is also fast becoming the perfect place for ‘bikeations’ or cycling holidays. We look forward to welcoming the Women’s Tour once again and hope it inspires our community to get on their bikes.”
Welsh Cycling’s Chief Executive Anne Adams-King said: “It’s great to have the Women’s Tour heading to Wales again in 2022. High profile events can inspire people to take up cycling for fun and competition and we hope it will further encourage more women and girls to get involved – we’ll look forward to seeing everyone on the roadside come June.”
Mick Bennett, Women’s Tour race director, said: “We’re thrilled to be returning to Carmarthenshire in 2022 as the county continues to showcase its beauty and healthy living credentials through cycling. This stages promises to be unforgettable – I couldn’t think of a better place to start it than Pembrey Country Park, where fans have turned out in force historically to welcome both the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour.
“Following the scenic route we’ll take through the county, I cannot wait to see how the racing plays out on Black Mountain. We’ve long wanted to test the world’s best riders on a climb of this stature, reputation and difficulty, and I know they’re going to put on a show for us!”
Further details of stage five, including the full race route, timings and ŠKODA Queen of the Mountains locations, will be unveiled in due course.
This year’s Women’s Tour will see Colchester and Suffolk host the Grand Départ on Monday 6 June, which follows the four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
Organisers expect all 17 teams with mandatory UCI Women’s WorldTour event invitations to be on the start line in Colchester, including the 14 UCI Women’s WorldTour teams. The final line up of teams for the race to be announced in the coming weeks.
With cycling enjoying a boom in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of new and returning cyclists taking to two wheels, there are a range of sponsorship opportunities available with the Women’s Tour in 2022.
Packages range from title partnerships of the event and sponsorship of the prestigious points and sprints jerseys, to being the brand forever known for funding the race’s first-ever live TV broadcast. Visit sweetspotgroup.co.uk/partnerships/ for more.