CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has called on the Welsh Government and council officials in North Wales to secure the future of the Etape Cymru road race.
Earlier this month the Etape Cymru closed road cycling race took place in North Wales. The event was a huge success, attracting 1,200 riders for the event, including local Olympic medallist Chris Bartley, as well as drawing in many hundreds of spectators along the route.
However there is uncertainty as to where the race will be held in 2013 with a start and finish point yet to be agreed.
The AM raised the issue with the First Minister in the Senedd on Tuesday.
Clwyd South AM Ken Skates said:
“The Etape Cymru road race was a huge success this year, drawing in over a thousand riders and scores of people coming out onto the roads in Denbighshire to watch and enjoy the racing.
“It’s clear that the event has huge potential. Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the UK and the roads of North Wales are absolutely perfect for top-level racing of this kind.
“The 92 mile race takes in some of the most stunning landscapes in Europe along The Horseshoe Pass, The Garth and Worlds End and can help promote Denbighshire and North East Wales as a top-level holiday destination, boosting cycling tourism in the region.
“If we worked hard to grow the event it could be a real money-spinner for the local economy, but crucially it needs support, vision and energy to make it a success.
“The local Council in Denbighshire need to get fully behind the project and officials in the Major Events Unit at the Welsh Government need to better understand its growth potential.
“There is still some work to do to secure the future of the event and ensure it has a venue and sponsorship for 2013. This needs to be sorted out quickly in order to capitalise on the potential of the event and establish it as a major feature on international road cycling calendar.”
The First Minister said the Etape Race would be one of the events the Major Events Unit would consider for support.