THEY may be at contrasting stages of their careers but Velothon Wales is just as exciting for both Stephen Williams and Yanto Barker.

Williams, aged 19, is fresh from the "biggest race of his career" at the Tour de Yorkshire at the end of last month, while 36-year-old Barker hopes to use all his experience to make an impact on the pro race this Sunday.

Newport-based Williams, who hails from Ceredigion, said: "Yorkshire was a really good experience, I had a good last day and the boys looked after me so it give me a lot of confidence. I'm so happy with that result.

"The people of Yorkshire got behind it, the crowds were spectacular and I hope to the same thing happens this weekend. I hope it's not just an event that lasts three years, I'd like to see it become an annual fixture that stays around for a very long time."

Williams believes his knowledge of the stunning 140km route around South Wales could help him to produce a similarly impressive ride on Sunday.

"It's great to race where you train every day. It gives you more of an incentive to win and also the benefit of knowing the technical bits of the course," added Williams.

"With JLT Condor we have a real international calendar, from the start of this year we've been everywhere from France, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia.

"This is a great race and up there with any of them. There are not many races where you do a 15 minute climb like the Tumble - twice!

"It's going to be an eye-opener for some riders that's for sure. You can't take the Tumble or Caerphilly Mountain in when you're riding it because you're just over handlebars trying to keep your legs going."

Carmarthen-born Barker is captain of ONE Pro Cycling, one of three Pro Continental teams confirmed for this week's Velothon Wales.

He said: "To have sportive and pro race at the same time brings more exposure to the event and helps raise the profile of our British riders.

"This will be a great thing for the area. Velothon Wales is already a huge event but I can see it getting bigger as long as it's allowed to grow."