LLANDEILO and Llandovery will play host to some of the world’s top professional cyclists as they take part in the Tour of Britain 2018.

The first stage of the national race will pass through the Towy Valley as it heads from Pembrey Country Park to Newport City centre, it was announced last week.

It will be the first time that Britain’s biggest professional cycle race has visited the county.

The race sees 120 riders from some of the world’s best teams compete, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners.

Taking place on Sunday, September 2, the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will leave Pembrey Country Park and then continue throughout the county passing through Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Llandeilo and Llandovery as it continues into the Brecon Beacons through to its stage finish in Newport city centre.

The event is expected to see cycling fans descend on the county to get the chance to see some of the world’s riders competing, potentially bringing a boost of over £4 million to the local economy.

It will also have daily live coverage on ITV4 and Eurosport in the UK, and around the world.

Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “This is great news for Carmarthenshire and especially Pembrey Country Park, where we’re expecting great crowds to come to this fantastic location to see the start of this iconic race. I’m sure visitors will make the most of their last weekend of the Summer holidays and stay in the county. We are working closely with Welsh Cycling to put on a number of activities for the weekend at Pembrey Country Park for the whole family.

“I also hope residents will come out and support the cyclists along the route from Pembrey to Llandovery.”

Commenting on the launch, Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling said; “The OVO Energy Tour of Britain goes from strength to strength as a mainstay of the British sporting year which attracts new fans across the country to our fantastic sport.

"The 2018 route is one which will really capture the imagination of everyone, whether they cheer from the roadside or watch on television.”

“This year we have worked hard to create an innovative and unpredictable route, with several surprises in store throughout the race,” added race director Mick Bennett.

“Several stages have stings in the tail; climbs positioned towards the finale of Stages One, Two and Three will keep the outcome up in the air until the very end.