Paris-Roubaix Champion Backstedt confirmed for CiCLE Classic

Paris-Roubaix Champion rider confirmed for East Midlands CiCLE Classic

A former winner of the Paris-Roubaix class, Magnus Backstedt, has confirmed that he will make a return from retirement to ride the East Midlands’ International CiCLE Classic on Sunday, April 26.

The Paris-Roubaix is the world’s most famous one-day classic ride and Backstedt, the 2004 winner, will compete in the United Kingdom’s only UCI-ranked international one-day event with his newly created Team Maximus Backstedt recently set up the team of seven Swedes and one Brit who are looking to transfer from the elite amateur ranks to professional cycling.

The CiCLE Classic route features narrow farm tracks reminiscent of those found in the Spring Classic races in northern France and Belgium. It will see 200 riders navigate through the East Midlands countryside and villages on rough terrain following the ceremonial start in Oakham. The confirmed route for 2009 will see the riders complete almost 100 miles (160km) on their way to Melton.

Riders will have to race over 15 kilometres of rough roads, including two tough ascents of the Somerberg climb. The final stretch of 800-metre gravel road comes just two miles from the finish.

“I will be riding as one of the team leaders,” said Backstedt. “But my focus is always on letting the young guys have the first go and I will be part of a backup plan. They are the ones who need the results to move up in their career and I have got all the results I need. But in saying that I still enjoy winning.”

“In a race as unpredictable as the Rutland-Melton we will come with a few ace cards up our sleeves. … If you focus too much on one rider you will very likely go away with nothing. A quick puncture changes everything, just like the Paris-Roubaix.”

Event organizer Colin Clews said: “We’re delighted to have attracted Magnus Backstedt and his team of up and coming riders, and his participation in the CiCLE Classic seems to mark a ‘coming of age’ for the race. Magnus is well known in Britain, having based himself here for several years, and I’m sure he’ll get a strong East Midlands welcome!”

“There are a lot of young riders, including the East Midlands Development Agency team, who will relish the opportunity to ride alongside such an experienced champion in this emda and MARS UK sponsored promotion.”

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