Bigger and better sporting events after Tour success
BIGGER and better sporting events could be coming to Carmarthenshire following the success of the Tour of Britain cycle race, a council director has said.
Jake Morgan said one of the benefits of the county hosting the pro race on September 2 was that he had meetings lined up with the Welsh Government’s major event unit about future activities.
He told full council: “Cycling is probably the one sport I feel we have a world-class venue.
“We can compete with absolutely anywhere in the world, in terms of galvanising our communities and somewhere where cyclists want to cycle.”
The day of action involving Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, among others, is estimated to have brought £800,000 to the Carmarthenshire economy.
Councillors heard that the knock-on effect of race television coverage on ITV4 and Eurosport was worth £250,000-plus in free advertising.
Mr Morgan, director of community services, said: “The day went unbelievably smoothly. It was real ‘team Carmarthenshire,’ right from the volunteers, our communications team, highways department and sports development team.
“I have never seen Kidwelly like it, up through Llandovery - packed out, and community events going on through the day. It made me really proud.”
He added: “It was more than a bike race. Our intention is that this will be the first of a number of events.”
The council wants to position itself as the cycling hub of Wales, and is keen for the public to get on two wheels more and more for health and wellbeing reasons.
The authority anticipated a £4 million boost across South Wales from the race, which set off from Pembrey Country Park, over the next 12 months.
Council leader Emlyn Dole said: “We hope to be feeling the benefits of the Tour of Britain for years to come, and it is so encouraging to hear that it has already put around £800,000 into the pockets of local people and businesses.
“When you consider this was achieved in one 48-hour period, and compare it to the 12-month projection of £4 million for the whole of South Wales, we can start to see a clear picture of the positive impact this will have on Carmarthenshire.
“But, as was mentioned in council, this is more than just a bike ride - this has left a legacy for Carmarthenshire in more ways than one.”
Mr Morgan added: “I am really confident we will get many more times that (£800,000) in the weeks, months and years to come.”
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OVO Energy Tour of Britain riders tackle Bethlehem Hill during stage one earlier this month.