The biggest names in cycling were given a warm Welsh welcome as they rode through Flintshire in this year’s Tour of Britain.
Hundreds, including schoolchildren from Gwernymynydd Primary and Ysgol Bryn Gwalia in Mold, lined the route to catch a glimpse of stars such as Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins, along with other sporting heroes including Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek and Nairo Quintana.
Stage four of the popular competition saw cyclists make their way from Stoke-on-Trent through to Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy before reaching the finish line in Llanberis.
The event, which is the UK’s biggest professional cycle race, entered Flintshire at Cefn-y-Bedd and took cyclists around the outskirts of Mold and through Gwernymynydd before entering Denbighshire at Cadole.
Many spectators headed to Gwernymynydd for the race in the hope the hill would keep the cyclists in camera view for that extra second.
The village was also popular with groups of cyclists, some of whom travelled more than 30 miles to see the tour.
Julia Smith, of Chester, was there with her cycling group Palefish.
She said: “The atmosphere is fantastic.
“I think Bradley Wiggins will come out on top – the Sky team are looking really strong and he deserves it for what he has done for cycling in Britain.”
Donna Cosstick, of Mynydd Isa, added: “We are keen followers of the Tour De France and it’s a joy that we can come here where we can watch such a huge event in person.”
Paul Hughes of Flintshire is a keen cyclist himself.
He said: “What Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins have done for cycling in this country is amazing – the sport seems to have completely taken off.
“Wiggins treated the Time Trial at Knowsley (Tuesday) as if it was the Tour De France – it was so exciting and he put his all into it. That’s the sign of a great guy.”
Len Jones of Queensferry added: “We come to watch all the sporting events in the area and were there to see the Olympic torch pass through last year as well.
“Cycling in this country has had a real boost since the Olympics and Tour De France and all of our family now own bikes.”