Preview: Tescos Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic

PRESS RELEASE: A look ahead to the TESCO Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic presented by CNP on Sunday, 17th April 2011. A UCI ranked road race.

2011, the biggest and most open CiCLE Classic yet!
With ten foreign teams taking part, involving riders from 17 different nations spread over the 32 participating teams, this years TESCO Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic presented by CNP sports nutrition is set to be the most international edition yet says organiser Colin Clews.

Now in its seventh year, this most unique and challenging race on Britain’s road racing calendar is back again in 2011 despite concerns until recently of its viability in the current difficult financial climate. Rescued earlier this year by TESCO and CNP, the event has created even more interest than ever before with ten further foreign team requests for invites having to be turned down over the past three weeks. In addition, over 40 British riders were unable to meet the strict team entry requirements for participants in international races have also seen their entries returned.

“The event has always been extremely popular, but the unprecedented interest shown this year is an indicator not only of the events growing international reputation, but sadly also a reflection upon the increasing loss of similar events across Europe as would-be sponsors reassess their publicity investments” race director Colin Clews admitted this week. “That we have new title sponsors and supporting sponsors such as Dolmio (MARS UK), the Melton Building Society and Manor Farm Feeds who have been with us now for the full seven years, is a remarkable achievement for which everyone associated with the race can be rightly proud and appreciative.”

“The continuing strong interest amongst the local community that is so visible and audible throughout Rutland and Melton shows just what a great ‘free’ sporting event that has been created for our area and nationally, “ Clews continued.

Once again, the CiCLE Classic remains Britain’s ONLY international single day road race this year and will boast representation from all of Britain’s big teams with the exception of Team Sky who are ineligible as they compete at the very highest level of the sport (ProTour). This does not mean that the CiCLE Classic will lack any quality however, with past winners such as Malcolm Elliott (2007) and former Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt returning to the Classic after a years absence. No one has yet won the race twice, but this year Michael Berling from Denmark, will wear number 1 as last years winner following his second and third places respectively in the 2009 and 2008 editions of the race.

The biggest ever foreign representation in the race with ten teams from Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, two teams from Ireland and three from Belgium brings to the race an even greater international flavour and atmosphere to the race that the organisers are so keen to create with the ‘Spring Classics’ style course. The course will again take in on and off road sections with the notorious ‘Somerberg’ section to be covered twice and the final ‘killer’ 600 metres section of Sawgate lane coming just two kilometres before the Melton Town Centre finish just after 3pm.

The finish will be preceded for a third year by the local St Georges Day parade ensuring a large and appreciative crowd to welcome home the competitors who have survived the punishing 105 mile course, which will be completed in just over four hours from the 11.00 am start in Oakham town Centre. An Italian fair will again accompany the start which will be reported upon live by Rutland Radio and attended by the MP for Rutland and Melton, the Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan.

The organisation have made several minor course amendments this year, leaving in the additional ascent of ‘Cold Overtonberg’ introduced for the first time last year, which again forms part of the King of the Bergs (hills) competition, this year sponsored by the aptly named Corporate Ascents.com. Remedial work has been carried out to both ‘Somerberg’ and ‘Sawgate lane’ in recent weeks to ensure that they are in the best possible condition for racing and most importantly, a further 45 metres have been added to the finish straight in Sherrard Street, Melton, which should make the finish there even more exciting for the expected large crowd.

The race will be run off on closed roads secured superbly once again by the Leicestershire Constabulary at all key points and a measure of how proficient they are now considered to be at this process, is that representatives of the police forces responsible for the Olympic Games are attending the CiCLE Classic to accompany the lead police officer and the race Director on the route. As well as more foreign representation this year, the event has already received requests from 25 journalists and photographers, including the Press Association, for accreditation to attend the race.

Once again, this is a record, not only for the race but also any other race at this level in Britain. Local interest this year will centre on just two riders, both from Oakham. Evergreen James Cambridge, a former member of Melton Olympic rides again after several impressive performance in previous years, and is joined by fellow Oakham resident Ryan Henry who after suffering bad luck several times, feels that he has a ‘score’ to settle with this most unforgiving of races.

As a prelude to the race, the following day, on the afternoon of Saturday 16th April around 14.00 hrs, a team car and riders from one of the competing teams will be in attendance at TESCO stores in Oakham and Melton to sign autographs and answer any question as about the race. Race programmes will also be available at that time.

A full list of the competing teams is given below, the final line up for each to be finalised in accordance with international regulations only the day prior to the race.

1    Glud & Marstrand     Denmark                UCI
2    Endura     Great Britain         UCI
3    KTM – Murcia    Spain                     UCI
4    Raleigh    Great Britain         UCI
5    Velo 29     Great Britain
6    IRELAND National Team    Ireland
7    AC Sparta Praha    Czech Republic    UCI
8    ESEG DOUAI     France
9    East Midlands Region    Great Britain
10    Rapha – Sharp – Condor     Great Britain         UCI
11    Motorpoint- Marshals Pasta     Great Britain         UCI
12    Sigma Sport – Specialised     Great Britain         UCI
13    Team Corley Cycles    Great Britain
14    Deschuytter-Westkerke    Belgium
15    Hand in Hand Espoirs (Baal)    Belgium
16    Twenty3C – Orbea     Great Britain
17    Asfra-Flanders     Belgium
18    Team UK Youth    Great Britain
19    CyclePremier-Metaltek     Great Britain
20    Herbalife-Wheelbase     Great Britain
21    Pasta Montegrappa- Zheroquadro    Great Britain
22    Felt-Colbornes RT    Great Britain
23    Primal Europe-Rutraining-Ricci     Great Britain
24    Pendragon-Colnago-Le Col    Great Britain
25    Team Qoros    Great Britain
26    Sportscover – BBM    Great Britain
27    Hargroves Cycles – Trant     Great Britain
28    Forme-Procycliste-SanLamere    Great Britain
29    ViCiOUS Velo    Great Britain
30    Team Sport Active    Ireland
31    Renault Rotor Colbert RT    Great Britain
32    GWR Team -Swindon Cycles    Great Britain

Where to see the race
After the start in Oakham (Rutland), the riders take in two laps of Rutland Water before returning through Oakham (hot spot). The remainder of the race then takes place in and around the A606 road between Oakham and Melton Mowbray. Mostly to the south of this road and then shortly before the finish reverts to the north side before entering the A606 to finish in the heart of Melton.

It is possible to see the start in Oakham; see the riders complete their first lap of Rutland Water and then to make your way to Owston to ’really’ enjoy the race at its best. By leaving Owston after the races penultimate passage of the village, it is possible to reach Melton well in time to see the finish. In and around Owston are a number of special sectors which have to be seen to be believed. Ask any of the marshals for guidance on how to find ‘Green Lane’ and ‘The Farmyard’ in particular.

At both the start and finish, full supporting events are being organised to ensure that spectators are kept properly entertained. In addition, to the natural attraction of seeing the race at these points in the main town centres, the course offers a number of natural spectator points. Recommended spectator points are Owston Village (six race passages) or Burrough on the Hill (four race passages.)

If new to the race, make sure however that you witness the truly awe inspiring passage of ‘Somerberg’ special sector. The race takes this in twice. Whereas the second passage may present problems of getting to the Melton finish line, after the second passage of Owston, it is possible to get to this sector although entry is only from the Somerby side.

At Burrough on the Hill ‘Grants’  public house (Sponsor of a hill prime) that offers itself as a welcome on route hostelry, but please ensure ALL cars are parked off the race route.

At Owston, the village hall committee is again  organising provision of official off road parking, on route barbeques and toilet facilities. The village is very compact and it is possible to see the riders more than once on most passages by walking just a short distance. They are pleased to welcome race followers as their guests for the day.

Note: From 9.00am, the ‘Youth CiCLE Classic’  races are taking place in and around Owston. Please follow signs to the allocated parking areas and please do not park on any roadways as this may cause inconvenience to other spectators and residents, as well as possibly obstructing the race.

Please be aware that on the minor roads around Owston and Burrough in particular vehicle access will be strictly controlled, so please follow any instructions given by marshals, and ensure that you park well off the roads being used for the race. Thank you.

Background: Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic.
The Rutland –Melton CiCLE Classic began in 2005 and was held for two years as a counting event in the British Cycling Premier Calendar series. It gained a nickname as ‘Britain’s Paris-Roubaix’ as a result of taking the riders over rough farm and rural roads as well as wide highways. In 2007, it gained sponsorship from the East Midlands Development Agency and as a result changed its name to the East Midlands International CiCLE Classic as it was entered for the first time onto the UCI international Calendar as a 1.2 race.

On that first running, as an international, the winner was British Veteran rider and former Tour of Spain Green Jersey winner, Malcolm Elliott. The following year the CiCLE Classic was excluded from the British Premier Calendar series by British Cycling, for reasons that have never been properly explained or justified. As a consequence, the event has run as a self standing one day international race, the only one day  event in Britain to hold international status  since 2008. Following the 2010 event, and a change of government in Britain, the East Midlands Development Agency was closed down and although willing to continue sponsorship, was unable to so thererby placing the race under threat of cancellation. Until the timely intervention of TESCO and now also CNP.

Website: www.cicleclassic.co.uk

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