Event: 21 April 2013
With new sponsors, a renewed outlook, and an exciting new finish, the Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic is to go ahead on Sunday 21st April, bigger and stronger than ever.
After struggling with finding sufficient sponsorship over the past two years the race looks to have now found in new commercial sponsors Rutland Cycling Giant Store and Schwalbe Tyres, a long term commitment to the race’s development. Whilst Rutland Cycling Giant Store and Schwalbe will now become joint title sponsors, Rutland County Council and Rutland Together have also declared their increased support for the event which each year makes a valuable and major contribution to the local economy.
After a 2012 race dogged by the worst weather imaginable, with torrential rain and floods causing the race route to be changed repeatedly to enable the 22 survivors from the 162 man field to reach the Melton town centre finish, the organisers are hoping for a return to more seasonal conditions this year.
This is a wish echoed by Rutland County Council, Chief Executive Helen Briggs speaking about the council’s support for the race recently, “The CiCLE Classic is an event many look forward to each year. It’s a great spectacle as the best amongst the up and coming international cycling professionals come to Rutland. The event also makes a significant contribution to the local economy and delights visitors new and old each year. Rutland County Council and Rutland Together are delighted to support the event and look forward to dry weather and an exciting event”
The savage nature of the 2012 event, however, appears only to have served to enhance the reputation of the CiCLE Classic as the most challenging of races and increased the interest from foreign teams in taking part in 2013. Race Director Colin Clews said, "I firmly believe that we have created in Melton and Rutland a truly world class event which with proper support can see the very top teams in the sport racing on our roads within the next few years. In the newly found commercial sponsorship from Rutland Cycling Giant Store and Schwalbe, the race has found partners who share this aim and with whom we look forward to working to develop Rutland as THE cycling county of Britain."
Speaking on behalf of Schwalbe UK, Marketing Director Dave Taylor said, "Schwalbe UK are very excited to be supporting the 2013 Rutland Melton-Classic one of the most challenging and exciting Elite single day races on the UCI road calendar. The race is a true racing classic which sees our sponsored riders from Node4-Giordana and Team Raleigh-GAC battling it out over tarmac and treacherous dirt tracks using our Ultremo ZX clinchers, Ultremo HT handmade tubulars or the new Ultremo Tubeless tyres. Our products can have no better test track."
New Managing Director of Rutland Cycling, David Middlemiss, explained the enthusiasm for the CiCLE Classic from the local independent retailer and Giant Store Rutland. "Although planning of this year’s Classic has been delayed, professional teams from Belgium, Poland, Ireland and Austria have so far confirmed their participation and several more foreign squads are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks. The 183 kms course will follow very much the established format of previous editions, but this year the race will end with a 15 kms circuit taking the race through the centre of Melton Mowbray before returning to finish around 20 minutes later. We’re also excited that the race will twice pass by the front doors of the Giant Store in Normanton Car Park, which I’m sure will be a popular spot for spectators."
Together with increased commercial expos at both start and finish, the race’s organisers are now looking to move the event forward in the near future to the next higher level which would see the very best World’s cyclists competing on local roads.
As previously the Classic will form the main course of a menu of a cycling activity weekend in and around Rutland and Melton involving nearly 1000 cyclists of all abilities and ages, and expected to bring literally thousands more spectators to the roadside to witness the exciting action.
The weekend which is aimed at appealing to all ages and ability groups commences with the Rutland CiCLE Tour on Saturday 20th April when over 600 cycling enthusiasts take part in several rides over predetermined courses of varying distance. Many of the roads used will be similar to those that the top professionals will cover the following day. Linking with the sponsorship by Rutland Water Cycling Giant Cycles store the CiCLE Tour sportifs will this year start and finish from the Giant Cycles store at Normanton. Then on the Sunday morning of the Classic CiCLE Classic kermesse race for lower category competitors will take place on a short course from Owston to Burrough on the Hill over which the professionals will battle out the CiCLE Classic.