Britain’s largest one-day race, the East Midlands International CiCLE Classic, returns on Sunday, April 26, and has already attracted considerable European interest.
CiCLE is reminiscent of the Spring ‘classic’ races in northern France and Belgium with its riders required to negotiate narrow and treacherous farm tracks, as well as roads threading through the beautiful villages of the East Midlands.
Two hundred riders will navigate the varied 100-mile course from a starting ceremony in Oakham to an exciting finish in Melton.
Regular squads such as Denmark’s Glud & Marstrand-Horsens, Slovakia’s Dukla-Trenchin-Merida and The Netherlands’ Ruiter-Dakkapellan will return to the event.
New teams such as the Czech Republic’s SC Sparta-Praha, and the Belgium-based An Post-sponsored Sean Kelly Irish squad have also confirmed their intentions to take part.
The An Post team boasts 2007 Irish Road Race Champion David McLoughlin, who was a member of the former Pezula squad that dominated the CiCLE Classic in 2008.
Incentives are high this year, with a special Maestro UK sponsored bonus award on offer to the winner.
Race Director Colin Clews said: “Mike Perry of the Willier Sports Beans squad is a big supporter of the event and offered an additional cash sponsorship to any rider winning the 2009 event spectacularly. £300 is on offer to any rider who can cross the finish line before any other rider enters the 180 meter-long finish straight.
“We’re aiming for the CiCLE Classic to be won in the classic style of great champions, and if the money isn’t won this year we’ll keep rolling it on and adding to the total each year.”
CiCLE will feature a number of new sponsors this year and this aspect is regarded as very important by Clews and emda, in terms of nurturing young talent in the run-up to 2012.
A further development this year is the staging of the Discover Rutland CiCLE Tour cyclo-sportif event on Saturday April 25. This event, organised by Rutland County Council in association with the CiCLE Classic organisers will offer 100, and 50-mile rides, as well as a 30 km fun ride for those wanting to make a weekend of their visit to Rutland.
Entries are also now open for the CiCLE Challenge Sportif on Sunday July 12.
See http://www.cicleclassic.co.uk/ for more information.