THE Tour of Britain bike race should be worth millions of pounds to Carmarthenshire but roads will close on the day, the council’s head of leisure services said. Ian Jones based the figure on a study of the impact of the televised race in 2015, which departed from Anglesey. Mr Jones said around 120,000 people watched the stage from Beaumaris to Wrexham, a third of whom stayed overnight and spent on average £118. These overnighters alone boosted the North Wales economy by some £4.5 million. It is Carmarthenshire’s turn in the spotlight on September 2 when 20 professional teams and their entourages head north from Pembrey to Carmarthen, then north-east to Llandovery en route to Newport in South-East Wales. Addressing a full council meeting, Mr Jones said: “It is an excellent opportunity for us to sell our county, our culture, resources etc. We have to maximise the opportunity.” He said he had suggested the stage one route to the Tour of Britain organisers, with aerial views of the county’s castles, gardens and Carmarthen Bay very much in his thinking. Mr Jones said roads along the route would close on the day, but only on a rolling basis around half an hour before the riders came through. The roads would then reopen around 15 minutes later. “The race will pass very quickly, but it’s a fantastic spectacle,” he said. Mr Jones said it was important to keep spectators entertained for as long as possible to make a day of it. “There is a lot to do, but there is a lot already happening,” he said. Council chiefs expect 5,000 to 8,000 spectators for the 11am “grand depart” on September 2, depending on the weather. “Pembrey Country Park is the part that needs the most management,” said Mr Jones. The event will be shown on Eurosport and broadcast to 125 countries. The council will post updates about the race on social media and the Discovering Carmarthenshire website, and also share information on bus shelters along the route. Schools are also being encouraged to get involved in the event, for example by entering a design a race jersey competition. Mr Jones and his colleagues were thanked for their efforts in securing the event for Camarthenshire, which is costing the council £20,000. Pembrey councillor Hugh Shepardson said: “This, without doubt, is a coup for us. I would like to congratulate the officers for all they have done in securing this event.” Councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths, executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, said: “This is the icing on the cake for us. “It is one of the biggest things I can remember coming to Carmarthenshire.”