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AJ Bell Tour of Britain set to inspire fans to visit Mid Wales says race boss

The AJ Bell Tour of Britain riders arrive on Aberystwyth on stage four last week.

Cyclists and television viewers around the world who tuned in to last week’s AJ Bell Tour of Britain will have been inspired by the scenery, dramatic coastlines and the historic towns of Mid Wales, says the race director.

Stage Four of the famous race, which attracts the world’s best cyclists, began in Aberaeron, travelled north along the Ceredigion coastline to Aberystwyth and then headed east along the Dyfi Estuary to Machynlleth.

From the home of the first Welsh Parliament in the time of Owain Glyndwr, the race  headed north to Corris and Dolgellau before hugging the Mawddach Estuary to return to the coastline from Barmouth to Harlech, finishing at the Great Orme in Llandudno.

“Stage Four of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain really showcased the scenery of Mid Wales and the helicopter shots of the Ceredigion coastline, in particular, were among some of the most beautiful we have seen on this year’s race,” said race director Mick Bennett.

“This year marked the first time that the tour has raced through Ceredigion and the views certainly did not disappoint.  We are sure that viewers across the UK and around the world will have been inspired by what they saw along the route, from dramatic coastlines to the beauty of the Dyfi Estuary and the historic towns that we passed through.

“Hopefully the AJ Bell Tour of Britain will inspire more people to come to Mid Wales with their bikes in the future.”

The organisation that promotes Mid Wales as a tourism destination for visitors agrees that the images beamed around the world from the AJ Bell Tour of Britain are a fantastic advertisement for the beautiful region.

MWT Cymru represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Ceredigion, Powys and the Meirionnydd region of Gwynedd. Chief executive, Val Hawkins said: “Attracting major events like the AJ Bell Tour of Britain and, in the past, the Wales Rally GB, is great for showcasing Mid Wales to the world and we hope they will want to return.

“Our beautiful region has so much to offer visitors in terms of quality places to stay, see and visit and it is becoming an increasingly popular destination for cyclists who enjoy both on and off road cycling.

“We seek to promote Mid Wales as an authentic destination where people from urban areas can re-energise in a real, inspiring and enriching environment.

“Thousands of visitors have discovered how great our region is this summer as a result of the staycation boom and, hopefully, the AJ Bell Tour of Britain will encourage many more to come and visit us.”

Aberystwyth-based Gruff Lewis, who rides for Ribble Weldtite, won the sprint in Borth on Stage Four and was delighted to compete on home territory.

“One of the highlights for me was the crowd on Penglais Hill,” he said. “I used to work at the university sport centre and the atmosphere was just electric with staff supporting me alongside both local clubs, ‘Caffi Gruff’ and Ystwyth CC.

“Another highlight was winning the sprint in Borth which is within a stone’s throw of my home and where I start nearly every training ride, the Borth loop.

“Barmouth is one of my favourite local spots and where I had my first date with my partner. To then finish on the Great Orme in blistering sunshine welcomed by my fiancée and four-year-old boy was very emotional.”