RUTLAND’S big race is back on after months of work to secure new sponsorship for the 2012 International CiCLE Classic.
The 105 mile race from Oakham to Melton via Rutland Water and Cold Overton has drawn big crowds each year and will take place on April 29, it was confirmed this week.
After several months of doubt about the future of the race, professional development firm Mountivation have agreed to back the race for the next three years, securing it as Britain’s top UCI European tour race until 2014.
Announcing the firm’s backing this week, race director Colin Clews said: “We are delighted to welcome Mountivation as new headline sponsor of the CiCLE Classic for 2012.
“The three year nature of the partnership provides stability for the race which it has failed to gain previously in its short eight year history.”
Over that period the CiCLE Classic has grown in stature and race organisers hope to get a boost from the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2011 a record ten foreign-based teams took part in the gruelling race over terrain which often eliminates half the field before the finishing line. Already for 2012, greater interest than ever has been shown in the race by top continental teams and from others further afield.
Phil Leigh, managing director of Mountivation, said: “I am delighted Mountivation can support the CiCLE Classic as main sponsor.
“It is currently the only UCI level race in the UK and is a well organised, high profile event that Mountivation are delighted to partner with.
“We look forward to working with Colin and his team to see the race prosper and grow over the next three years.”
The CiCLE Classic will also continue to receive financial backing from sponsors including Dolmio, Melton Building Society, Dare2b clothing, Duvel Belgian Beer and the Ramada Hotel at Grantham.
A supporting race featuring members of the Mountivation Cycling Academy will be held around the Burrough-on-the-Hill and Owston hill stages before the main race.
On the Saturday before the race, the popular Rutland CiCLE Tour returns, offering leisure rides for several hundred amateur riders starting from Oakham.
In previous years, the police presence on race day was overseen by Inspector Toby Day and organisers are hoping to use the race to boost funds for the Day Family Trust Fund.
Mr Clews added: “Toby’s enthusiasm for the race greatly contributed to its success and the support of his entire family in this work was immeasurable.”