Good news, everyone! The final stage of the 2017 Tour of Britain will end in Cardiff, bringing top-flight riders to the city centre on 10th September 2017.
Cardiff will welcome the OVO Energy Tour of Britain for the first time ever, with the 180-kilometre Stage Eight beginning in Worcester and passing through Monmouthshire and Newport, before finishing on King Edward VII Avenue, alongside Cardiff City Hall.
This is a big deal for us in Cardiff. Aside from the pro race attached to the Velothon each year it’s not often Cardiff sees top-level racing on its streets.
Starting in Worcester, the route appears to snake through the Malvern Hills before making its way to Cardiff between Monmouth and Abergavenny before hitting Newport and onto the Wentloog flats. It’s a little hard to tell what the exact route will be from the map that has been released, but to get an idea of the profile we’ve drawn up an approximation of it on RidewithGPS. We’ll keep tinkering with the route as more details emerge.
Some people have criticised the whole Tour route for being flat. On our mock-up stage 8 appears to be no different, with the largest climb being around 160 metres and a total for the route of just shy of 1800 metres. It’s a shame that the route cuts west of the Wye Valley and east of the Brecon Beacons National Park. It wouldn’t have taken too much re-routing to throw in Llangynidr or the Blorenge…
Anyway, criticisms aside the Tour presents to us a number of opportunities. It’s a chance to give the people of Cardiff a taste of professional cycling and for campaigners, bike shops, cafés, Sustrans and Pedal Power to set out their stalls to inspire and encourage everyone to get on their bikes.
It would be nice if Cardiff Council could capitalise on the day with a few additional road closures or even have a proper “car free” day that goes beyond one street. It’s a few months away, so let’s put our heads together and see what we can come up with.