County, and worldwide recognition for Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic

The 2005 and inaugural edition of the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic can now proudly boast the title of Leicester Mercury newspapers “Sports event of the Year” after last week receiving this accolade at an awards ceremony attended by 500 people at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall.

This placed the seal on a week in which the event also received confirmation that amongst the competitors for the 2006 edition taking place on 14th May will be the Australian Professional team FRF Couriers- Caravello, and also that the event is likely to be included in Eurosport’s extended TV coverage of the British Cycling Premier Calendar series.

“Recognition by the local press of the race’s standing against more populist sports, and the fact that teams are prepared to travel the globe to compete on Leicesteshire and Rutland roads is the greatest endorsement that the race could imagine” said Race Director Colin Clews. ”That this has been achieved in just one edition of the race shows just how this exciting and unique race has entered people’s consciousness. If it was needed, this is just the right encouragement to continue progressing the race to a position of being the biggest and best single day race in the British Isles.”

Over 150 volunteers helped with the organisation of the 2005 race and offers to assist with this year’s event continue to be received from both cycling and other spheres. Despite this popularity and success however, no main title sponsor has yet come forward to back the CiCLE Classic.

“Cycle racing in Britain can be made as attractive as it is in others countries, but it needs to be delivered professionally and by involving whole communities”, continued Clews. “Rutland-Melton has begun these aims, but we can go much further, and make the race the pride of Leicestershire and Rutland. But securing formal road closures and providing the safe conditions required for having the World’s top cyclists compete on our roads can only be achieved by increased financial and manpower support. We have proved we have a race which many other counties and areas envy; now we need everyone to get behind it.”

This year’s race on Sunday 14th May will again start in Oakham town centre where it is hoped there will be supporting activities. After two laps of the public roads around Rutland Water the competitors will then race through Oakham. They will then enter the notorious and challenging small roads around Cold Overton, Somerby, Owston and Burrough-on-the- Hill and the 12 ‘special off tarmac’ road sectors; which give the race its unique character; before finishing it’s 100 miles in the heart of Melton town centre.

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