Start 11.00 Market Place, Oakham, Rutland – Britain’s smallest yet brightest county!!
On Sunday 29th the largest representation of nations ever assembled in the county will line up for the 8th edition of the Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic.
Britain’s only UCI ranked single day race which is sponsored this year by Mountivation will also be the longest ever version of the race ever taking the riders 114 miles between the neighbouring towns of Oakham (Rutland) and Melton Mowbray. Starting in Oakham town centre at 11.00, the race will be flagged away by local dignatories including Oakham town Mayor, Joyce Lucas and the Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan MP presided over by BBC TV cycling commentator , and former four times World Cycling champion Hugh Porter MBE.
From there the race takes in an opening two laps of the main roads around Rutland Water before re-entering Oakham to contest the Oakham Wines sponsored Hot Sport sprint award racing onwards to Langham and Cold Overton and the first King of the Hills climb of the day and the narrow roads which characterise the race. From there the race then enters its ‘heart’ covering over the next two hours the narrow and rough roads and hills around the villages of Somerby, Owston and Burrough-on-the-Hill where the race is played out highlighted by two passages of the notorious ‘Somerberg’ sector near Knossington, which is probably the roughest road use for a cycle race in Britain.
The race then moves to its finale as it then heads to Whissendine and Burton Lazers, both of which the race passes through twice for the first time this year. On the first passage of Whissendine the races last Hot Spot sprint of the day will take place and as usual Sawgate Lane will serve as the final and often deciding rough sector of the day. However after this final sector the race will retrace back to Whissendine and back to Burton Lazers giving full opportunity for spectators to the final rough passage before making their way to the finish in Sherrard Street around 15.25.
Supporting attractions will be taking place around both the start and finish in Oakham and Melton town centres and as ever Owston will be offering up its famous BBQ and a commentary position for several hours of the event. The annual Melton St Georges Day parade will also take place once again a short time before the arrival of the leading cyclists.
The race will be held on closed roads supervised by Leicestershire Constabulary and the races own mobile and static marshals, and motorists and other road users should expect delays at various points along the route. With the event being the only international ranked one day race in Britain this year and the only race of its type ahead of the Olympic Games then it offers a unique opportunity that is expected to draw spectators from across Britain.
The day prior to the race several hundred amateur cyclists will take part in the Rutland CiCLE Tour being held in conjunction with the Classic. This will offer two courses of 50 and 100 miles using many of the roads that the professional riders will tackle the following day. On the morning of the Classic there will also be a race for lower level competitors in and around the Owston and Burrough-on-the-hill circuits which will involve 70 cyclists. With all the activities now associated and held around CiCLE Classic the event has been accepted as part of the National ‘Community Games’ initiative intended to support sporting events and the development of associated cultural activities.
Where to see the race?
In 2012 the opportunities to view the race many times has been increased significantly. For the enthusiastic spectator it is possible to see the race in over 10 places during its circuitous route between Oakham and Melton.
- The START in Oakham Town Centre
- At the Stamford Road bypass island just outside Oakham as the race completes its first lap of Rutland Water.
- In Oakham Town Centre to see the Oakham Wines sprint be contested.
- The top of Cold Overton hill for the first King of the Hills climb.
- In Somerby fior the first passage of the race there.
- Owston or Burrough on the Hill for the races many passages through those villages. or back to Cold Overton Hill for the fourth King of the Hills climb, or onto ‘Somerberg’ (Bruces Lane) for the ultimate CiCLE Classic experience.
- Leesthorpe Crossroads or Whissendine village to see the first passage of the race through the village and final Hot Spot sprint of the day.
- At the exit from the final rough sector of the race at Sawgate Lane just on the edge of Melton.
- At the FINISH in Sherrard Street.
Please allow plenty of time to get from one point to another and be prepared to encounter the road closures which will apply as soon as the race approaches and will apply until the last of the ‘effective’ race passes. Also please remember to park your cars well off the road especially if parking on any of the many narrow roads that the race uses particularly around Owston and Burrough on the Hill.
If viewing at Owston please use the identified car parks and always obey any instructions from race marshals. Have a great viewing day!
Who are the favourites?
The CiCLE Classic has proved one of the most difficult races to predict a winner, with so many outside influences, such as potential punctures, crashes, and just bad luck coming into the frame to potentially upset the ‘form book’. The sheer size of the race , the biggest field in Britain this year, also making the race difficult to control with 34 teams all wanting an opportunity to influence the race outcome.
Last year Zak Dempster, riding for Rapha- Condor –Sharp, scored an emphatic sprint win from the leading group of 13 who had survived the 105 miles race. This year Dempster returns, wearing number one and heading his new Endura team who have this year record an impressive list of performances in events in continental Europe. He will be supported by a strong team which includes former National road race champion and Team Sky rider Russell Downing. Rapha, probably Britain’s best home based team over recent years field a young squad thios year, but with wins to his name already this year Ben Grenda looks a solid bet for a podium place if the strong overseas presence from Austrian, Danish, Spanish, Belgian, Greek and US based teams does not get the opportunity to dominate the early stages of the race.
The Danish Glud & Marstrand –LRO team returns again for their fifth challenge on the race which has already netted them one win, one second and two third places in previous editions. With Niki Ostergaard one of Denmarks bright hopes for the future amongst the team and with the event being one of their targets for the early seasonOstergaard, or any of his teammates could prove hard to beat.
Whilst last year the Spanish based KTM –Murcia team experienced the CiCLE Classic for the first time, acquitting themselves very well, but the top prize proving elusive, their experience will no doubt be put to good use. Meanwhile, the Austrian based Arbo-Gerbruder team make their first visit to the race but come with an enviable record in mid Europe. Headed by Tobias Erler, a former National Road champion and team mate of Mark Cavendish on the HTC squad, with a proven taste for ‘hard’ races such as the CiCLE Classic, they are expected to have a great influence on the shaping of the race as will the Greek based, but largely Belgian composed WorldofBike.co. team. The further foreign challenge is posed by regular CiCLE Classic visitors Asfra Racing and Deschuytter- Westkerke from Belgium and US based CMI-Trilogy Group. All are expected to contribute heavily to the race.
Meanwhile the domestic challenge cannot be ruled out with the Node 4 – Giordana Racing team, team winners last year in their former incantation as Motorpoint Racing team, returning and teams such as Hargroves Cycles whose team comprises National Cyclo-cross champion Ian Field who with his similarly experienced teammates will feel at home on the rougher sections of the Classic route. But more likely to challenge for the win are teams of the quality of Raleigh –GAC, Sigma – IG Markets and Team UK Youth who with Greg Mansell amongst their named team could well have at the wheel of their team car a certain Nigel Mansell who is no stranger to driving, but at much higher speeds.
This years race breaks new ground however in several other ways, firstly with the participation for the first time of Great Britain Cycling Academy team made up of several hopefuls for what is expected to be an Olympic team that retain at home a bag load of medals from the London Games later this year.
Also the race sees two local based teams taking part, Coalville based Cycle Premier, who field 2010 Classic winner Michael Berling of Denmark, but more importantly Melton’s own newly formed Metaltec – Scott team. Several of the squad have demonstrated this year their good form, and that they are able to be competitive in previous editions of the CiCLE Classic so are expected to give the home town crowd at the finish much to cheer.
The race sponsors
The race is now the biggest single day cycle road race in Britain and as such requires a great deal of support to enable it to take place.
The following are those that have helped make this years race.
- Mountivation (Performance matters) – Main Sponsor
- Dolmio (MARS UK) – Presentational sponsor
- Melton Mowbray Building Society – Team competition sponsor
- East Midlands Airport – King of the Hills competition sponsor
- Manor Farm Feeds (Owston) – Owston Hot Spot and supporting sponsor
- Rouleur magazine – Main media partner
- Dare2b- Officials and volunteers clothing sponsor
- Newstyle Print & Design (Oakham) – Print & branding sponsor – Tim Norton Motors (Ford) – Supplementary vehicle sponsor – Skoda (UK) – Race vehicle sponsor
- Duvel Belgian Beer – Hospitality sponsor
- Oakham Wines – Hot spot sprint sponsor
- Oakham & Melton People – Community website partner
- Bioracer – Winners and team jersey sponsor
- Ramada Hotel (Grantham) – Hotel partner
- Exclusive Sports Media TV – Video partner
- Rutland Radio – Media partner
- High 5 – Nutritional partner
- Leicestershire & Rutland 4X4 response group – Mobile Marshal partner
- Rotary Club of Melton Mowbray – For Melton town marshals & stewards
- Rutland County Council – Local authority partner
- Melton Borough Council – Local authority partner
- Leicestershire & Rutland Sport ‘Community Games’ Initiative
- Thanks also to Leicestershire Constabulary and Leicestershire and Rutland Highways departments and to the Johnson group of newspapers.