THE FIRST stage of the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain will finish in Newport, it has been announced.

Britain’s biggest professional cycle race will see 120 of the world's top professional cyclists begin in South Wales for the first time on Sunday, September 2.

The first stage of the race will start in Carmarthenshire and it will finish in Newport.

Newport last hosted the Tour of Britain in 2004, while the final stage of the 2017 race passed through the city on its way to the overall finish in Cardiff.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said: “We are very excited to again be involved in the Tour and promise to give competitors the warmest of Newport welcomes as they cross the first finish line in the heart of our city.

“Newport boasts such a diverse landscape which lends itself perfectly to events such as the Tour – from flat, urban routes to challenging climbs and descents through beautiful countryside – we are sure the cyclists, supporters and spectators alike will enjoy the leg and their time in our city.”

Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, added: “Hosting the start of this iconic professional race and having an all Welsh stage is fantastic news for Wales.

"Since hosting the Tour of Britain for the first time in 2010, the event has established itself in the Welsh sporting calendar with the race visiting various locations across Wales almost every year since - and I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to support the event.

“The Tour of Britain is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Wales’ unique and beautiful landscape to the world, as well as highlighting our ability to host a variety of major events.

"The event gives cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step and spectators in Wales have always given the cyclists a real warm Welsh welcome and have created a fantastic atmosphere.

"I hope that people from across south Wales come out to support the cyclists as they travel from Carmarthenshire to Newport on the first day of the race in September.”

More details of stage one, including the exact start location in Carmarthenshire, details of the route and where the race will finish in Newport will be announced at the national launch of the 2018 route on Tuesday, June 5.