NEIL Hamilton, UKIP Leader in Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, is calling on his constituents to show their support for a major sporting hero.

Carmarthenshire, hosts the Grand Depart of the UK’s biggest cycling road race, the Tour of Britain, on Sunday, September 2, when Welsh Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky, for the first time since his historic win.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Culture, is now urging people in the county to get behind the event and show their support for Geraint.

He said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for people living in the area actually to see top riders from the world’s best teams in action and get the chance to see Geraint Thomas, the first Welshman ever to win the Tour de France.

“It is a tremendous achievement for Geraint and he deserves every ounce of the praise he’s received, not only for his talent but also for all the hard work he has put in over the years, which culminated in winning cycling’s most prestigious race.

“His success will not only encourage more young people to take up the sport of cycling but has also been a huge boost to Wales.  Next week Carmarthenshire will be in the international spotlight with daily coverage on national television.

”This is Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, visiting the county for the first time, and I don’t think people will need much encouragement to go out and help celebrate Geraint’s achievement.”

Riders will leave Pembrey Country Park and then continue throughout the county passing through Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Ffairfach and Llandovery as it continues into the Brecon Beacons through to its stage finish in Newport city centre.

Neil Hamilton AM

Live televised coverage of the Tour of Britain on ITV4 and Eurosport means the eyes of the world will be on the county as it hosts the first stage of the race, and Geraint’s inclusion is set to attract even more international attention.

Thousands of spectators will line the route, many travelling from outside Carmarthenshire.

Staying and spending locally, the expected economic boost of £4million to South Wales may grow further still.

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, including BMC Racing Team, Team Katusha Alpecin, Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Team Dimension Data.

For all information and up-to-date news in Carmarthenshire on the OVO Energy Tour of Britain visit Discover Carmarthenshire.

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