The future of one of the region’s biggest sporting events has been saved after two new sponsors were confirmed.
The Rutland–Melton CiCLE Classic was thrown into doubt for the second year running when the race’s main sponsors Mountivation unexpectedly pulled out of a three-year deal.
But race director Colin Clews, of Wymondham, believes the long-term future of the race looks stronger than ever after new deals were signed with the Giant store at Rutland Water and Schwalbe Tyres. Rutland County Council and Rutland Together, a partnership made up of partners from the public, private and voluntary sectors, have also declared their increased support, both financially and in help staging the event.
The event, which costs about £40,000 to stage, is Britain’s only single-day international cycling road race and attracts teams from all over the world.
The 114-mile race starts in Oakham and takes riders through Langham, Cold Overton, Somerby, Knossington, Owston, Whissendine and around Rutland Water, before finishing in Melton.
The event can bring thousands of people into Oakham who are welcomed by town traders.
Mr Clews believes the new support not only ensures this year’s race will go ahead on Sunday, April 21, but will also strengthen its quality.
He said: “I firmly believe we have created in Melton and Rutland a truly world class event which, with proper support, can see the very top teams in the sport racing on our roads within the next few years.
“In the newly-found commercial sponsorship from the Giant store and Schwalbe, the race has found partners who share this aim.”
Rutland County Council chief executive Helen Briggs said: “The CiCLE Classic is an event many look forward to each year. It’s a great spectacle and it also makes a significant contribution to the local economy and delights visitors new and old.
“Rutland County Council and Rutland Together are delighted to support the event and look forward to dry weather and an exciting event.”