News: Cicle Classic Launch

Two new sectors to spice up the 2017 Edition of the British Classic, the CiCLE Classic

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News: Cicle Classic Launch

Two new sectors to spice up the 2017 Edition of the British Classic, the CiCLE Classic

At the historic Stapleford Park Hotel, the route for the 2017 Edition of the Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic was presented to a packed room of press and guests.

The CiCLE Classic has been around for thirteen years now and for the edition this year, organiser Colin Clews has added two new sectors to spice up the start and end of the race.

The race will start as it has over the years with two laps of Rutland Water to give the riders a few ks to get their legs and heads ready for the torment that is to come. The race as in previous years will travel through Oakham before the first of the changes to the route.

“No sooner are we out of Oakham, we turn onto ‘Manor Lane’ (nr Barleythorpe)  and onto a steady climb that has never been used before. The race will race over a few cattle grid areas and on the second one, 1300 metres, its in the organisers words, “as rough as hell”.

Video of the course presentation

11 Barleyberg. 48.2 kms 1300 m *****
10 Newbold 76.5 kms 1100 m **
9 Manorberg (Pass 1) 86.0 kms 700 m ****
8 Manorberg (Pass 2) 108.2 kms 700 m ****
7 Somerberg 122.2 kms 2200 m *****
6 Manorberg (Reverse) 121.0 kms 1800 m ****
5 Newbold Manor 136.1 kms 1200 m **
4 Somerberg (Reverse) 145.6 kms 2200 m *****
3 StaplePark (Pass 1) 161.0 kms 2100 m ****
2 Sawgate 172.8 kms 500 m *****
1 StaplePark (Pass 2) 178.5 kms 2100 m ****

The race after that heads back to its original route for  the climb up to Cold Overten but before the riders have hit the first sector on the race around 15 kilometres earlier than they have in previous editions and Colin Clews fully expects it to see the race break up a bit earlier because of first the climb, and then a narrow and very rough stretch of road where gaps will open and for many, may never close up again despite the ‘recovery’ section to Langham.

MC for the launch and a race organiser himself (Eddie Soens & Chorley GP), Carl Lawrenson, takes the audience through the route for the 2017 edition of the CiCLE Classic.

“The potential for the race splitting early is quite high” says Colin Clews. After that first new sector, the route is largely the same as in previous years including Somerberg before the race starts the two finishing circuits where a crucial new sector likes in wait like a killer demon ready to offer opportunity or kill off hopes of success in the race.

After Cuckoo hill, instead of turning left and heading towards Melton Mowbray, the race will go right through a sharp and narrow gate into the vast grounds of Stapleford Hotel. “We have 2.2 kilometres of very rough road and grass  (50 metres) for the riders which they will do twice, the last time only 8k from the finish.”

The race will continue to use the very fast (in the dry) sector of Sawgate as well so that means on that small finishing circuit, around 3k of off road and proper off road as well.

Russell Downing full gas over Sawgate in 2016

Providing value for the money invested by sponsors and supporters the CiCLE Classic can boast that its annual budget of circa £50,000 per annum is between half to a third of the budget routinely available to similar base level international races both in Britain and across the continent of Europe.

This year as well, the CiCLE Classic organisation has adopted the local ‘Mount Group, Riding for the Disabled (RDA)’ based at Somerby Equestrian Centre as their charity of choice, and will have a team of local riders from the East Midlands competing against World and Olympic Champions and top class professional riders from continental Europe and beyond, on local roads, proudly wearing jerseys bearing the ‘Mount Group’ name.

Conor Dunne winning the CiCLE Classic

The Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic was first staged in 2005 as part of the British Cycling Premier calendar Road Race series. This was at the time a first for any totally new race in this country being absorbed into the major race series from its inaugural edition.

This was due to faith by British Cycling in the quality of organisation that they expected from the fledgling race organisational team, who although with only limited promotional experience had nevertheless gained over many years a deep rooted and extensive knowledge of the elements what went into major races held elsewhere in continental Europe, and around the World.

From the outset the race was intended to break the ‘mould’ of British style racing on rural circuits away from the main populous. This race was to be a place to place event, starting and finishing in major town centres, and with a style of presentation based upon the greatest Northern European spring classics such as ‘Paris-Roubaix’ and ‘De Ronde van Vlaanderen’.

Somerberg, one of the toughest sectors of the race to be done twice and one which includes a climb on gravel.

Without ‘pave’ the area nevertheless offered numerous off road tracks and by ways, and with support from Rutland County Council and Melton Borough Council’s, together with several local businesses, the race was born.

An immediate success in its first year amongst competitors, a plan to elevate the race to International level within five years was achieved in three with support from the now defunct East Midlands Development Agency, when in 2007 the race was admitted to the UCI (International Cycling Union) European Tour calendar. At that stage it was the only British race to hold that status, and remains today the longest running British International one day road race.

Since becoming an international race it can boast the presence in its field riders notable competitors in the form of Mark Cavendish (2007) and more recently current World Professional Champion Peter Sagan (2009).

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The edition of the race everyone continues to talk about however is 2012, when the heavens opened to Biblical proportions, roads were flooded, the course altered several times as the race went on, and just 22 finishers reached the Melton finishing line from the 164 who started the event.

With the absence of sponsorship the race also almost sank that day, but with the enthusiastic interest of new sponsorship provided by and who continue as main sponsors to this day, the race was resussitated and is widely regarded as Britain’s biggest , best and certainly the most spectacular one day international cycle raod race.

Following the introduction of a finishing circuit in and around Melton since 2014, the race parcours (route) has largely remained unchanged until this year when, with the ‘finding’ of a new sector outside of Oakham, and agreement from Stapleford Farm Estate, three new ‘special’ sectors have been introduced revamoping the course, and its chalklange to competitors significantly.




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