The attention of the cycling racing world will turn to Rutland this weekend with the spotlight falling upon the 2015 staging of the Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic. As the event, sponsored by Giant Store Rutland, moves into its 11th year, the 2015 race promises to be one of the most exciting yet, with professional teams from across Europe competing for the win.
Starting on Sunday 26th April at 11am from the High Street in Oakham, the international race will snake its way through rural Rutland and Leicestershire, before finishing on Sherrard Street in Melton Mowbray at around 3:25pm.
Thousands of passionate fans are expected to be out and about lining the local streets and countryside lanes this weekend, creating an atmosphere to rival the top Belgian and French spring Classics.
With 34 teams confirmed to compete, Race Director Colin Clews is hopeful of a brilliant day of racing.
Colin Clews, Race Director
Each year we say that the event is going to be bigger and better than ever before, and the actuality of this never disappoints. This year the interest in the race from sponsors, riders, associated companies, spectators and cycling fans has been greater than ever and the prospects for the races on Sunday are breathtaking.
The International race will follow the same 180km course as in 2014 with major climbs of Cold Overton, Burrough-on-the-Hill and Cuckoo Hill providing a stern test of the rider’s stamina and strength.
Last year’s winner, Tom Moses, returns and will look to repeat his success of 2014, but will no doubt face stiff competition in his bid to defend the crown. JLT-Condor teammate Kristian House is surely one to watch, the 2009 British Road Race champion and former Tour of South Africa winner shouldn’t be shaken off easily.
Local support will fall behind Market Harborough born George Atkins as he rides for One Pro Cycling alongside the formidable Pole Marcin Bialoblocki and the experienced Welshman Yanto Barker, who has unfinished business on the course.
Yanto Barker, One Pro Cycling Team
Definitely I would like to win. But I’m happy I’ve been part of a winning team and on the podium a number of times so I am pleased with my performances at the race. I love the CiCLE Classic, it’s good for me.
There will also be local interest in Steve Lampier, who will be riding under the colours of Nottingham based Team Raleigh-GAC. Lampier is a force to be reckoned with on the local Cambridgeshire road scene and the Peterborough based rider will look to compete with fellow Raleigh rider and double CiCLE Classic winner, Ian Wilkinson, who is hopeful of one of the top spots.
Ian (Superman) Wilkinson, Team Raleigh-GAC
I’d say if you put in good preparation, training, and you’re in a quality team like Raleigh GAC, the rest is down to the way the dice rolls on the day.
Team Wiggins will also look to feature prominently on Sunday and while it is unlikely that we will see Sir Bradley pulling on a jersey this weekend, it is possible that he may put in an appearance in support of his squad. The Wiggins trio of Owain Doull, John Dibben and Andy Tennant have been putting in some strong performances on the continent over recent weeks and will be in contention.
Top European teams such as An Post-Chain Reaction, ParkHotelINL, Bike Aid for Africa, CCT-Champion Systems, Team Sparta Praha and Team 3M will also feature riders looking to challenge the recent British domination of the CiCLE Classic Podium.
Preceding the race on Saturday 25th April will be the Dare2b Rutland CiCLE Tour, when over 1500 participants are expected to test themselves over varying sportive distances from 22 to 100 miles. The Junior CiCLE Classic will also be held in Oakham at 9am before the CiCLE Classic. For anyone wishing to ride the sportive, entries are still available at www.itpevents.co.uk.
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