NEWPORT’S Jon Mould can’t wait to take on a host of cycling stars in his own back yard when the Friends Life Tour of Britain comes to Monmouthshire next month.
The 2014 Tour of Britain runs from September 7-14 and stage three on September 9 starts from Newtown and ends at The Tumble mountain near Abergavenny.
And Mould, of the NFTO Pro Cycling team, is looking forward to taking on the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in Wales.
“The Welsh stage is always great for me and it will be an interesting one for the fans to watch on the roadside or at home on TV,” said Mould.
“We don’t know the full line-up of all the teams yet but there will definitely be some big names because this is an important race now ahead of the world championships.
“It’s growing every year and it will keep growing because cycling is on the up and up.”
It certainly will be up and up on The Tumble and Bob Greenland, counsellor for Devauden on Monmouthshire County Council, is delighted that the Tour is coming to town.
“Monmouthshire is becoming the capital for cycling in Wales,” he said.
“This is the third major cycling event we’ve hosted after the British Road Championships in and around Abergavenny and the British Elite Series of town races in Chepstow.
“And we’re already planning what we can do next year because events like this encourage more and more children and families to get on their bike.”
Meanwhile, the British Cycling National Junior Road Series also culminates in Wales this weekend.
The country's top junior bike riders are preparing for the toughest test of their season with five stages over three days.
Wales will be represented by a team of four junior cyclists, including Newport's Joseph Wiltshire.
First up is an individual time trial from Brynmawr to Blaenavon at 10.30am today, followed by the first road stage departing Brynmawr town centre in the afternoon to finish above Llangynidr.
Tomorrow morning the riders tackle the closed circuit in Bryn Bach Park from 10.30am before a sprint spectacular around Abergavenny and Raglan, culminating outside The Hardwick.
The fifth and final 55-mile road stage starts at 10.30am on Monday morning and sees the riders head out along the Heads of the Valleys road to Penderyn before taking in Brecon and skirting Abergavenny before confronting the fearsome three mile climb to the top of The Tumble.