FORMER British road race champion and Carmarthenshire’s very own Jess Roberts will be on the starting blocks of this year’s Women’s Tour.
She will be joining some of the world’s most talented riders in the eighth edition of Britain’s leading women’s stage race.
Jess, from Carmarthen (pictured second from left), will be racing on home ground during stage five of the race, which takes place between Pembrey Country Park and the Black Mountain.
Currently riding for Team Coop – Hitec Products, this year’s event will mark her debut in the six-day race.
Jess, the 2018 British champion, said: “The Women’s Tour is one of the races I’ve always really wanted to do. I was meant to do it in 2020 but obviously couldn’t because of the pandemic and then last year I wasn’t able to because of injury so I’m really excited to be on the start line this year with COOP – Hitec Products.
“I’m particularly excited for stage five, which goes from Pembrey and finishes up the Black Mountain. The whole route goes along my home training roads so will be really special to race on them, and my family will be able to watch too! It will definitely be a tough stage that’s for sure!”
She will be joining former champions Kasia Niewiadoma and Coryn Labecki, among the favourites for this year’s title, and past stage winners Lorena Wiebes, Christine Majerus and Chloe Hosking.
Thirteen of the 14 UCI Women’s WorldTour squads will compete in this year’s race as the Women’s Tour gets set for its joint largest field ever: 102 riders across 17 teams.
The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6 with stage five taking place on Friday, June 10 starting at 10.45am at Pembrey Country Park. The riders will pass through Carway, Pontyates, Pontyberem, Nantgaredig, and Llangadog, finishing on the Black Mountain from around 13.45 onwards, with all riders expected to finish by around 2.30pm.
A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route from 10.30am until approximately 14.30pm. Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.
Spectators are being urged to plan their journey in advance as the roads are likely to be busy.
Carmarthenshire previously hosted the Grand Départ of the Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019 and the Tour of Britain team trial in 2021.
It is quickly building its reputation as one of the UK’s premier cycling destinations, for both leisure, and for hosting top events providing a major boost to the local economy.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism Cllr Gareth John said: ” I am delighted to welcome the Women’s Tour to Carmarthenshire once again, and I am even more delighted to hear that local cyclist Jess Roberts will be competing, alongside some of the world’s top cyclists. It promises to be an exciting day out and I hope the residents of Carmarthenshire will come out to show their support.
“Carmarthenshire County Council is committed to supporting more people to get fit and active, whilst growing the local cycling tourism economy. Hopefully, this will encourage more people to get on their bikes and, with televised coverage across the world, show what Carmarthenshire has to offer, attracting even more visitors to spend their time and money in the county.”
For full race details and timings, spectator information, road closures, parking and bus service, and more visit newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales