Thousands are expected to throng the streets of Cardiff on Thursday to welcome home Wales’ cycling superstar and Tour De France winner Geraint Thomas.
The Cardiff-born cyclist will be given a hero’s welcome at an event staged along St Marys Street and outside Cardiff Castle from 5pm until 5.30pm on August 9th.
The Tour de France winner and Olympic Gold medallist will lead a peloton of young riders from Welsh Cycling accredited go-ride clubs up St Mary Street to Castle Street before taking to a stage in the castle moat where he will speak to the crowds.
The ride up St Marys Street will take place after a short public appearance at the Senedd steps with the First Minister and the Presiding Officer between 4.30-4.40pm on Thursday,
Everyone is welcome to line St Marys Street to watch Geraint cycle to the front of the Castle where the crowds can hear him speak. Welsh presenter, Gethin Jones will then be hosting the event on a stage in front of the castle.
Geraint has welcomed the event and said: “I’ve been blown away by the support since the Tour de France – from everyone, but especially the Welsh public.
‘I can’t wait to head back to Cardiff on Thursday for the homecoming.
‘It’s such an incredible honour and I’m so grateful to everyone involved in helping put this event on”
Council leader, Huw Thomas, said: “Cardiff is extremely proud of Geraint’s achievement and this landmark victory for Welsh sport. I know the whole city is keen to celebrate Geraint’s homecoming, the reaction to his Tour de France win has been really fantastic and we are delighted to be able to help him celebrate his win at the castle in front of thousands.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones, said: “Wales is a proud sporting nation and watching Geraint on the podium, holding the Welsh flag high above his head, was a stand-out moment in our sporting history.
“I believe Geraint’s thrilling ride to Paris is the greatest individual performance by a Welsh sport star. His success – and wonderful, Welsh sense of humour throughout the gruelling race – is an inspiration. We’re looking forward to putting on a great Welsh welcome on Thursday to thank him for everything he has achieved.
“Come along to line St Marys Street on Thursday evening and show Geraint just how proud we are of him.”
Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, said:
“I am delighted to welcome Geraint Thomas to the Senedd, the home of democracy in Wales, before what I’m sure will be a wonderful journey to Cardiff Castle. His efforts during the Tour de France were thrilling to watch and inspirational to us all
“It is fitting that his achievement should be celebrated at the same time as a great celebration of Wales, the Eisteddfod, is being held in Cardiff Bay this year.
“He thoroughly deserves a wonderful homecoming and I hope people turn out to give him a warm welcome.”
Anne Adams-King, Chief Executive of Welsh Cycling, said: “Welsh Cycling are looking forward to welcoming Geraint home on Thursday this will be a very proud moment for everyone and a chance for people across Wales to share this once in a lifetime moment.”
Born in Birchgrove and educated at Whitchurch High School, Geraint began to cycle at the age of 10 for the Maindy Flyers Cycling Club. Since then he has won three World Championships; two Olympic gold medals; and now has won the most prestigious cycling race in the world – the Tour de France.
Geraint Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France and the third British cyclist following wins by both Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. Cardiff is immensely proud to welcome Geraint home and hopes as many people as possible will come out to celebrate his achievements.
To prepare for the event and for the event itself, there will be road closures in place.
On Thursday 9th August 10am until 10pm, High Street will be closed in its entirety to prepare for the event.
From 3pm until 8pm, the following roads will be closed:
- St Mary Street, from the junction with Wood Street to the junction with High Street
- Wharton Street from the junction with St Mary Street to the junction with Bakers Row
- Bakers Row in its entirety
- Castle Street from the junction with Westgate Street to the junction with Duke Street
- Duke Street in its entirety
- Kingsway from the junction with Duke Street to the junction with Greyfriars Road
- North Road from the junction with Kingsway to the junction with Boulevard de Nantes.
- Cowbridge Road East from the junction with Cathedral Road to the junction with Westgate Street eastbound. Westbound will remain unaffected.