British rider Ian Wilkinson scored an impressive win against the best ever field assembled at the East Midlands International CiCLE Classic today, 26th April. The 30-year-old multiple British mountain biking champion used his experience to overcome high profile opposition at Britain’s biggest one-day international cycle race.
The 157.8km route, starting in Oakham and finishing in Melton, Leicestershire, featured narrow gravel lanes and farm tracks as well as sharp turns and challenging hill sections, reminiscent of the great European spring classic races.
Wilkinson and his Halfords BikeHut team ensured that he was part of an early breakaway group and used his mountain biking skills exceptionally well in the dry, dusty conditions. “It was a case of not being scared of the terrain,” he said.
“We had a view to get at least one rider into an early break, which we did do and the guys in the main group could relax a bit then. Last year the group that got away around Rutland Water stayed away and the same happened this year.”
The Lancastrian added: “This win gets right up to the top of the tree in terms of career wins. I felt like a legend coming down the finishing straight in front, and my legs felt great. I knew the Dane behind me had been cornering better so I kept an eye on him but it was a fantastic finish.”
Britain also celebrated a third place finish in the shape of Welshman, Yanto Barker (GThomas-Colnago-Ass.) and Kristian House was the King of the Mountains, Most Aggressive Rider and helped his Rapha-Condor team to the overall team title. His team featured former World Champion track rider, Chris Newton.
The race featured 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner, Magnus Backstedt, coming out of retirement to support his new Magnus Masimus Coffee team riders.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.