Britain’s most spectacular one day international cycle road race, the Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic is set to feature in an hour long broadcast on ITV4 and Eurosport, if sufficient funds can be found in time.
With increasing interest in competitive cycling by the public and media in Britain, the spotlight would be placed on the CiCLE Classic and the East Midlands region on 26th April 2015.
The race is an attractive proposition to TV companies and the race organisation is seeking the ‘priming funding’ of £15,000 required to make the broadcast a reality.
“The very character of the CiCLE Classic is that it’s long been regarded as the most photogenic one day cycle race in Britain”, said Race Director Colin Clews. He continued: “With the levels of foreign interest now shown in the event, together with the talent amongst British riders these days, the CiCLE Classic must be a prime target for a wide television audience and with the potential for any companies or groups willing to support this TV project, there is guaranteed value for money.”
The race organisation is looking towards several contributors to put the required funding together, but with the obvious advantages of a one hour TV programme shown across several continents and showing off the local countryside to best effect, the rewards for all concerned are very high.
Now in its 11th year the CiCLE Classic will once again see an international field of some 200 professional cyclists descending upon Oakham to take the start of the 180 km race which takes competitors over the toughest possible terrain before its finish in Melton Mowbray just over four hours later.
Iconic images from the 2014 race as the competitors battle through the minor roads on the course. (Photo Harry Engels)
Once again sponsored by the Giant Store (Rutland Water), Schwalbe UK, and Dare2b clothing, the race enters its second decade in good health and with an even greater reputation, with larger numbers of foreign teams wishing to take part on Sunday 26th April.
The 2015 edition is likely to see in Britain for the first time the appearance of the German backed Bike Aid for Africa team which counts amongst its members Mekseb Debesay from Eritrea, who in 2014 won the overall ranking of the UCI Africa Tour. At least ten other continental based teams will also face the start of this increasingly renowned tough race hoping to break the domination of British riders who have taken first place in recent years. In 2014 Tom Moses was the youngest ever winner of the CiCLE Classic and he returns as part of the revamped British JLT – Condor Racing team to defend his title. Moses will be honoured by his wearing number 1 in an attempt to become only the second rider to ever win the race twice.
Tom Moses (Rapha-Condor-JLT) takes a solo win in Melton town centre in 2014. (Photo VeloUK)
All the top British teams are eager to take part and included amongst them will be the newly formed team of Sir Bradley Wiggins – 2012 Tour de France winner and current World Time Trial Champion. Sir Bradley’s intentions regarding the CiCLE Classic remain unknown at present, but it is just possible that he will attend the race to observe the first outing of his new team in an international race on British soil.
The weekend of 25th- 26th April 2015 will not just be about the professional riders however, as there is also the opportunity for cyclists of any ability and ambition to take part in events. A sportif of various distances takes place on Saturday 25th April. The ever popular Dare2b sponsored Rutland CiCLE Tour ‘all comers’ rides starts and finishes at the Giant Store at Normanton on Rutland Water. Over 1200 riders have already enrolled for rides of varying distances from 22 miles to 100 miles plus, and entries continue to be accepted.
In addition, the Junior CiCLE Classic race for experienced 17/18 year olds, takes place at 9.00am for its second year prior to the international race on Sunday 26th April. It is the third counting race in the British Cycling National Junior Road Race series and will start and finish in Oakham High Street, taking in a route featuring Teigh, Market Overton, Thistleton and Edmondthorpe.
Competitors tackle Cold Overton hill for a second time in 2014. (Photo Harry Engels)
Overall a feast of cycling sport both for active as well as simply spectating fans to enjoy. So don’t miss out!!
This year, the organisation has been pleased at the increasing interest of smaller local companies in seeking greater involvement in the CiCLE Classic which brings into both Oakham and Melton many hundreds of visitors on an otherwise quiet Sunday in April. The ‘Whipper In’ at Oakham will be the new sponsor of the international race’s ‘King of the Hills’ competition, in addition to providing race day hospitality to race officials and guests, and Melton based Vortex Watch and Clock Centre will be the new sponsor of the advance timing clock vehicle which will precede the race throughout its 180 km route.
The elite, UCI 1.2 category race is modelled on the Belgian classics, in particular the character of the Tour of Flanders. The Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic is raced on rough small roads over 184 km. The race provides one of the only opportunities for British riders to test themselves against foreign competition on home soil.
The race started on a national level but soon attracted international interest. In 2013, 22 nations were represented. It is over-subscribed every year and 30-40 entries are sent back. The race is limited to 200 riders.
The race starts in Oakham and finishes in Melton. It takes a meandering route across country with the now legendary off-road section known as the Somerberg and the newly included ‘late in the game’ inclusion of Cuckoo Hill.
Hugh Porter MBE, provides race day commentary. He is one of Britain’s greatest former professional cyclists, winning four world titles in the individual pursuit as well as a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1966. A road and track cyclist, he continues to ooze enthusiasm for the sport and in particular this event.
The race has attracted big names over the years: including Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Ed Clancy and Eurosport commentator, Magnus Backstedt. Magnus rode in the 2012 edition which proved to be a tough year due to the weather conditions with only 22 finishing the race. This added to the glamour and pursuit of winning and has further strengthened its appeal internationally.
Sponsors include: Dare2b, the Giant Store (Rutland Water) and Schwalbe Tyres (UK)
Because of the race’s unpredictability, in terms of weather and technical surfaces, it is very hard to predict a winner, which adds to the excitement. The race hopes to raise enough funds for an hour’s televised production on ITV and Eurosport in 2015.
Reigning champion of the CiCLE Classic is Tom Moses and in 2014, he was the youngest rider to win the race at 23yrs.
The 11th edition is on Sunday 26 April 2015 at 11:00am. The Junior men’s race (17-18yrs) is 92km with off-road sections and current champions is James Shaw. It takes place at 9:00am prior to the international race.
On Saturday 25th April there is a sportive open to all comers – Dare 2b Rutland CiCLE Tour
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