THE future of a cycling race is once again in the balance if a sponsor for the event cannot be found.
The Rutland to Melton International CiCLE Classic in April attracts hundreds of people from all over the world to the county, but might not go ahead next year due to lack of funds.
The event was previously funded by the East Midlands Development Agency but the Govermnet agency announced last year that it could no longer afford to contribute to it and another sponsor had to be found for this year’s race.
Tesco stepped in at the last minute and saved the day but has said that it will not sponsor the race next year, leaving the event in the balance.
CiCLE race director Colin Clews of Spring Lane, Wymondham, said: “We were indebted to Tesco Stores for their intervention this year, however, their one-year only involvement potentially creates bigger problems for ourselves in putting together a package able to sustain the race in Olympic year.
“For any company willing to get involved they are assured the greatest publicity potential from the CiCLE Classic.
“With Britain’s cyclists expected to excel in the medal tables, both on the track and also in the Olympic Road race with World Champion Mark Cavendish favourite for the latter, cycling is set to be ‘the sport’ in 2012.”
The event costs about £40,000 to stage each year with approximately half of the sum coming via long-term sustaining sponsors, such as Dolmio (MARS UK), Melton Building Society, Manor Farm Feeds, Dare2b Clothing, Tim Norton Motors, East Midlands Airport, Rutland County Council and Melton Borough Councils.
The addition of one or several secondary main sponsors is the crucial element in making the race happen.
Mr Clews added: “Year on year the CiCLE Classic has become bigger and more spectacular, with literally thousands now flocking to the roadsides to see the event pass by.
“It is unthinkable that the event might end after just seven years, but without the financial backing necessary, then that is what might well occur.”
If you think you can help Mr Clews please contact him on 01572 787726, 07979 856262 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org