The OVO Energy Women’s Tour will visit Wales for the first time this June, as the UCI Women’s WorldTour event concludes in Gwynedd and Conwy in North Wales on Sunday 17 June.

In recent year’s North Wales has hosted the men’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain on four occasions, but this year will mark the first time that the world’s top female riders have had the chance to race in the area.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to support this race for the first time this year. As Britain’s only international level stage race for women, the event attracts the best female riders in the world – and is an excellent event to raise the profile of the sport and encourage participation.  The route will also be showcase to Wales’ landscapes and will also highlight some of our epic shores which we’re celebrating during the Year of the Sea in 2018.”

The five-day race will conclude with a tough 122-kilometre stage from Dolgellau to Colwyn Bay, through the heart of the Snowdonia National Park.

As Wales celebrates the Year of the Sea in 2018, the first part of the stage will track the beautiful Welsh coastline of Tremadog Bay, through Barmouth and Harlech, before heading inland to tackle several climbs as the route crosses Snowdonia, via Beddgelert and Betws-y-Coed to finish on the North Wales coast at Porth Eirias, Colwyn Bay.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the OVO Energy Women’s Tour event and some of the world’s top cyclists to Gwynedd.

 “Over recent years, Gwynedd has rightfully gained a reputation as a fantastic location for international sporting events, with the hugely popular visit of the men’s Tour of Britain in 2013 and 2015.

“The visit of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will be a wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the most stunning landscapes in the country and raise Gwynedd’s profile on a national and international stage. The stage will see the tour visit the south Gwynedd area which is host to a number of exciting outdoor events including the visit of the Commonwealth Games baton and the adrenaline-filled Red Bull Hardline downhill mountain bike race as well as cultural events such as the popular Festival Number 6.

“We hope that this’s visit of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to Gwynedd will both provide a welcome boost to the local economy, but will also offer an inspiration for Gwynedd’s young people to make the most of the fantastic natural resources we have to offer.”

Councillor Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “We’re thrilled to have the UK’s first ever international stage-race for women in Conwy County, reinforcing once again we have the right environment for great events. To host the overall race finish too highlights the developments and commitments within our Events Strategy 2018-2022. We’re excited to work with SweetSpot again and welcome the worldwide media coverage that comes with this event.”

Commenting on Stage Five, Mick Bennett, Race Director for organisers SweetSpot said: “We are delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to bring the OVO Energy Women’s Tour to the Principality for the first time for what promises to be a thrilling finale to this year’s race between Dolgellau and Colwyn Bay. In addition to the stunning scenery on offer and the warm welcome the race will get from local residents, we are confident that this stage will provide a challenging test for the world’s best cyclists.”