Surprises galore can be expected as riders prepare for Classic challenge
The most internationally diverse field in the history of the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic will be competing for honours on Sunday.
Twenty-five different nations will be represented by the 143 riders who will be competing for 36 teams in the 14th staging of the race.
The confirmed field provides a strong foreign challenge of 10 teams which possibly represents the biggest threat to the domination of British squads in recent years.
A new victor is guaranteed for this year’s edition following the retirement of 2017 champion Dan Fleeman.
Fleeman represented the second tier Melton-based Metaltek-Kuota team last year and race director Colin Clews believes the unique event provides the perfect opportunity for riders from lower ranked British teams to take on the might of both British and continental based professional team.
Clews said: “We have always prided ourselves at CiCLE Classic that we enable more lowly ranked British competitors to take on foreign competition on British roads, the only event in the country doing so this year.
“Seeing the riders rise to the challenge is always a satisfying time and this year is likely to be no different than the 13 editions that have gone before.
“The race offers the exciting prospect of surprises galore, both in the unique CiCLE Classic parcours, and unknown riders being given too much leeway by their more experienced fellow competitors.”
Proceedings get underway from Oakham Market Square at 11am on Sunday with the riders taking in two laps of Rutland Water before diving off into the small and twisty lanes in the surrounding area.
The peloton tackle six King of the Hill climbs and 11 off-road sectors.
With the bunch significantly thinned by the tough riding and rolling terrain that the region offers, the remaining contenders head north towards Stapleford Park and into Melton Mowbray where they cross the finish line before completing another lap of the finishing circuit and fighting for the victory on the final passage of Melton.
Entering its 14th year, the CiCLE Classic is the longest established international one-day race in Britain.
It also holds the record for the most competitors ever to take part in a race on British soil.