THE Rutland–Melton International CiCLE Classic is proving so popular that race organisers have had to turn down entries from 10 international teams.
The race, which starts in Oakham High Street on April 17, is in its seventh year and is the climax of a weekend of cycling expected to feature up to 1,000 riders throughout Rutland but, a victim of its own success, some teams have been told they cannot enter.
Race director Colin Clews said: “This year demand for places at the CiCLE Classic from teams, both foreign and British, has been greatly increased.
“Over the past three weeks 10 additional foreign teams have had to be turned away, which demonstrates the reputation that the event now has in continental circles.
“However, the 10 foreign squads that will ride the event present the biggest and most intense continental challenge to our home riders.”
The 2011 Tesco International CiCLE Classic will feature 33 teams from across Europe and professional cyclists from 17 countries. Teams from Denmark, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Belgium, who have previous taken part are joined this year by teams from France and Spain.
The race will see three previous winners among its line-up: 2007 winner Malcolm Elliott, 2006 champion Robin Sharman and current title holder Michael Berling of Denmark, who returns this year.
Youth CiCLE Classic races for boys and girls under 16 will take place before the main event.