2012 Will be the third consecutive year that Powys has played host to a stage start and it’s the second time in a row that riders have set off from stunning Powis Castle in Welshpool on to one of the race’s toughest stages in both terms of length and climbing. After leaving Welshpool the race heads through seriously rolling countryside towards Llandrindod Wells, home of the National Cycle Collection.
After Builth Wells comes the first Skoda KoM climb and it’s a new, and tough one – Cwm Owen on Mynydd Epynt. Just 25km later the riders hit the Brecon Beacons and another Cat 1 and once they reach Caerphilly they’ll have two further Cat 1 challenges as they have to climb Caerphilly Mountain twice! If the Skoda King of the Mountains jersey – designed by 14-year old Surrey student George Barton-Wood – is still up for grabs this stage could prove decisive. Last year there were large crowds at Caerphilly to see Thor Hushovd take the stage, while John Tiernan-Locke was one of the riders to attack on the climbs.
Mildly interesting stage fact off of the Internet
The climb at Cwm Owen takes riders onto Mynydd Epynt, an area that houses the MOD’s Sennybridge Training Area. During WW2 an Italian POW camp was located here.