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With its easily accessible location, unique character and diverse field of riders from across Britain and Europe, the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic 2018 is set to be a great day out for fans of the sport (the forecast is also looking promising too!). Dubbed the 'British Belgian Classic' and 'Britain’s Paris-Roubaix' by some commentators, the race takes place on Sunday 22 April 2018 in the deceptively undulating landscape of Rutland and Leicestershire. Spectators can expect to see riders tackling treacherous farm tracks, twisting lanes and sharp climbs as well as wider, faster sections in what is some of Britain’s prime road racing terrain, particularly if you’re a fan of the type of stuff more commonly encountered in northern France and Belgium.

The race has now been going for 14 years, growing from 110 riders in 2005 to over 180 since 2007 (with a maximum of 180 being allowed to take to the start). It attracts a wide range of entries from UCI Continental Teams to local British club teams and is 189kms long, offering nearly five hours of racing. Over time the field has included World and Commonwealth Games Champions, Olympic medalists and riders from many different nations.

We've put together a guide to the race including advice on where you can watch it, what to expect and the teams taking part this year.

Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic 2016
2016 CiCLE Classic by Andrew

Introduction to the race

We heard from race organiser Colin Clews who had this to say about what to expect in 2018:

"Over the past 14 years the Rutland – Melton CiCLE Classic has continued to grow year on year, in terms of both prestige and spectator interest. Possibly the most spectator friendly long distance race in Britain, we are proud of what the event has achieved within that relatively short period. With the greater interest than ever in the outcome of the Northern European Spring Classic races the CiCLE Classis provides the UK’s only comparable event and a lovely follow on for anyone whose appetite has been aroused by events like ‘De Ronde’ or Paris-Roubaix’. To stand atop the podium of the CiCLE Classic is virtually every British cyclists dream, and this ambition is now also shared by many continental teams and their riders.

This year the race will see ten foreign based teams on the start line, and in addition the Irish registered Holdsworth-Campagnolo team making this a record entry by foreign based riders.

With the race offering the ONLY opportunity this year for smaller British teams and their aspiring riders to take on true continental opposition on British roads; and tracks; the result is an unmistakable mix of uncertainty, challenge and blind ambition.

Not the respecter of reputations, the CiCLE Classic puts Olympic and World Champions simply in the mix with lesser riders, and mere mortals. Who will win??? Like the continental Spring Classic races that the CiCLE Classic seeks to emulate, we will only know the answer to that question after 189 kms and nearly five hours of racing on Sunday 22nd April."

Race founder Colin Clews
Colin Clews by Andrew Peat

Not the respecter of reputations, the CiCLE Classic puts Olympic and World Champions simply in the mix with lesser riders, and mere mortals. Who will win??? Like the continental Spring Classic races that the CiCLE Classic seeks to emulate, we will only know the answer to that question after 189 kms and nearly five hours of racing on Sunday 22nd April.

Colin Clews, race founder

Essential Details and Route

The race starts in Oakham town centre at 11.00am, with team presentations and interviews with the favourites from around 10.15am. Spectator parking is available just off Main Street. The ceremonial start is from the Market Square, with the official start around three minutes later at the Stamford Road island. Over 189km the route then wends its way around the Rutland and Leicestershire countryside, taking in a lap of the Rutland Water reservoir and looping through several of the local villages, some of them (like Owston and Burrough on the Hill) several times. With six King of the Hills climbs up the local bergs (Cold Overton Berg, Burrough Berg and Cuckooberg) as well as plenty of rough sections and sprint points in both Oakham and Melton, there’s plenty of places for catching all the action as it unfolds.

2018 route map
2018 profile
Above: Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic 2018 Race Map and Profile from Cicle Classic website

Approximate Race Schedule

11.00 Oakham (Start)
12.05 Oakham
12.20-12.30 Langham
12.35-14.25 Pickwell/Somerby
13.00-14.20 Owston
12.45-14.05 Burrough On The Hill
14.45 Cuckoo Hill
14.50-15.20 Stapleford
15.10 Melton first passage
15.10 Burton Lazars
15.35 Melton (Finish)


Food, drink and entertainment

The race route includes many places where you can get hot and cold drinks and snacks right up to a full Sunday lunch! At the start in Oakham there will be offerings from sponsors Bills Bar plus ‘Café Allez’ offering liquid refreshments, and plenty going on before the race kicks off. At the finish in Melton, sponsors Melton BID will be making sure there is plenty to keep you entertained and well-fed and watered.

Owston is a good shout for facilities and atmosphere, with an al fresco barbecue, teas at the village hall, and live commentary/announcements for much of the race. It also has toilets and parking and the race passes through here no less than six times!

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ReadAn Interesting Morning For Bike Racing: Cyclocross In The Snow

Grant’s Freehouse in Burrow on the Hill offers a good vantage point (and the option to enjoy a Sunday lunch while spectating if you so wish!). The race laps the village several times so another good place to settle in for spectating.

peloton spread over a wide tarmac-ed road
2016 CiCLE Classic by Andrew

Top 12 places to see the race

Who better to advise on this than the race founder himself?! Colin gave us his top spots:

1. The start of the race - Oakham town centre

Here you will be able to view the team presentation and interviews with the race favourites on the race podium from 10.15 until the start at 11.00. 'Café Allez’ will be providing liquid refreshment plus many giveaways at the start line. After the Rutland Water lap the race will pass back through the town to contest the Oakham Wines sprint.

2. The top of Barnsdale Bank on the North Shore of Rutland Water

The riders will be lapping the Water in the reverse direction for the first time ever, offering new spectator opportunities at this location.

3. The Stamford Road bypass island just outside Oakham

This will be a great place to view both the actual start and the race as it completes its first lap of Rutland Water.

4. The top of Cold Overton Road

This is where the race route will now exit the new ‘special’ sector of ‘Barleyberg’ (Manor Lane)

5. The top of Cold Overton hill

This is where the first and fourth King of the Hills climbs take place.

6. Somerby

For the first passage of the race there.

7. Owston

The race passes through Owston many times and this is where you can really enjoy the party atmosphere of the day.

8. Burrough on the Hill

Another location with many race passages going through it, you can relax and enjoy a view of the race whilst enjoying Sunday lunch or a welcome drink from Grant’s Free House.

9. ‘Somerberg’ (Bruces Lane)

For the ultimate CiCLE Classic experience.

10. Stapleford Park

Here you can see the race traverse the two passages of the new off-road sectors dissecting the beautiful parkland area.

11. Sawgate Lane just on the edge of Melton

The entry/exit of the penultimate rough sector of the race.

12. The end of the race - Melton town centre

Following the local annual St Georges day parade the race will pass through the town and riders contest a sprint for the ‘Pork Pie’ sprint award donated by Dickenson & Morris, before commencing their finishing circuit via Burton Lazers and Stapleford Park. The finish line is on Sherrard Street.

finish line
Winner of the 2016 CiCLE Classic by Andrew

If you’re thinking of popping between places to catch the race many times, please bear in mind this additional advice:

“Please allow plenty of time to get from one point to another and be prepared to encounter the road closures which will apply as soon as the race approaches and will apply until the last of the ‘effective’ race passes.

Also please remember to park your cars well off the road especially if parking on any of the many narrow roads that the race uses particularly around Owston and Burrough on the Hill.

If viewing at Owston please use the identified car parks and always obey any instructions from race marshals.

Have a great viewing day!”


Current start list for 2018

So now you have everything you need for planning your day, who are you going to be watching? The roster includes UCI Continental Teams, Elite Clubs, Teams and Elite National Teams, National Teams plus some UK Regional Teams and Clubs - a real mixed bag of entries, which is what makes it so exciting!!

ONE Pro cycling (GBR)

1 Hayden Mccormick
2 Karol Domagalski
3 Emils Liepins
4 Jake Kelly
5 Jacob Scott
6 Peter Williams

JLT Condor (GBR)

7 Thomas Stewart
8 Edward Clancy
9 Matthew Gibson
10 Alistair Slater
11 Oliver Wood
12 Tomas Moses

Team Sauerland NRW p/b SKS (GER)

13 Aaron Grosser
14 Jonas Hartig
15 Christoph Schweizer
16 Louis Leinau
17 Joann Leinau
18 Victor Muller

Madison-Genesis (GBR)

19 George Atkins
20 Michael Cuming
21 Johnny Mcevoy
22 Erick Rowsell
23 Tobyn Horton
24 Richard Handley

Vitus Pro Cycling Team (GBR)

25 Deins Kanepejs
26 Julio Alberto Amores
27 Joshua Hunt
28 Harrison Jones
29 Adam Kenway
30 Grant Martin

Monkey Town (NED)

31 Maarten De Yonge
32 Antonio Santoro
33 Peter Schulting
34 Jordy Buskermolen
35 Jasper Ockeloen
36 Sven Van Luijk

WPGA rider
Team WPG Amsterdam rider by Andrew

Memil -CCN Pro Cycling (FIN)

37 Robert Orr
38 Jacob Tipper
39 Ben Hetherington
40 Antti Sizko
41 Pierre Moncorge
42 Joni Kanerva

Canyon Eisberg (GBR)

43 Tim Elverson
44 Chris Opie
45 Harry Tanfield
46 Rory Townsend
47 Andy Tennant
48 Alex Paton

Wheelbase Castelli MGD (GBR)

49 Alex Orrell-turner
50 Jordan Doig
51 Stuart Reid
52 Mark Mcguire
53 Barrie Lines
54 Matthew Clarke

Team Guerciotti-Kiwi Atlantico (ESP)

55 Lons Roodriguez Recuna
56 Kamil Bialonczyk
57 Andreas Militiadis
58 Michal Pustula
59 Fernado Finkkler
60 Fernado Lopes Gonzalez

Holdsworth- Campagnolo (IRL)

61 Russell Downing
62 Seid Lidze
63 Sean Mckenna
64 Mattia Viel
65 Damien Shaw
66 Jake Wormersley

Eseg-Douai Origine (FRA)

67 Doron Wiggins
68 Matthias Van Beethoven
69 Clement Gabisson
70 Kevin Avoine
71 Maxime Huygens
72 Clement Gabisson

Morvélo Basso (GBR)

73 Benjamin Marks
74 Mikey Mottram
75 Stephen Bradbury
76 Ken Buckley
77 Tom Bracegirdle
78 Ben Manfield

Saint Piran (GBR)

79 Steve Lampier
80 Fraser Martin
82 Cameron Jeffers
81 Jake Alderman
83 Will Harper
84 Matt Langworthy

DARE-Gaviota (SER)

85 Hector Gonzales Baeza
86 Leon Koch
87 Jonas Orset
88 Oscar Sanchez
89 Odin Foldvik
90 Edwardo Garcia

Latvian National Team (LAT)

91 Toms Eriks Gavars
92 Klave Rubenis
93 Andris Vosekalns
94 Marcis Kalnins
95 Kristers Ansons
96 Kristaps Pelcers

Team Wiggins (GBR)

97 Matthew Teggart
98 Gabriel Cullaigh
99 Joey Walker
100 Rob Scott
101 Dylan Kerfoot-robson
102 Mark Downey

Ribble Pro Cycling (GBR)

103 Daniel Bigham
104 John Archibald
105 Will Brown
106 Matt Cronshaw
107 Richard Jones
108 Simon Wilson

Cotes d'Amor Marie Moran Veranda Rideau (FRA)

109 Stuart Balfour
110 Lewis Bulley
111 Quentin Guicheteau
112 Owen James
113 Alexis Roche
114 Jules Rolland

Spirit-Tifosi RT (GBR)

115 Ed Clemens
116 Tommy Bustard
117 Jake Hales
118 Jordan Peacock
119 Chris Dredge
120 Rupert Graham

VC Toucy (FRA)

121 Jordan Levasseur
122 Scott Auld
123 Jake Gray
124 Slim Kiskonen
125 Wilfried Canales
126 Damien Wild

Team KTM (GBR)

127 Andrew Disley
128 Peter Barusevicus
129 Fraser Rounds
130 Kieran Brady
131 Andy Turner
132 Dave Shackleton

WPGA rider hands a bison to a Raleigh rider
Two riders on the 2016 CiCLE Classic by Andrew

WPGA Amsterdam (NED)

133 Koos-jeroen Kers
134 Jelmer Asjes
135 Kevin Wilmsen
136 Jorgos Schrijver
137 Jasper Bugter
138 Teun Mouris

Richardson-Trek RT (GBR)

139 Ollie Maxwell
140 George Wood
141 Luke Ryan
142 Peter Cocker
143 Josh Outram

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ReadWho wears what? The Always Riding guide to the Tour de France Leader's Jerseys

East Mids - RDA (GBR)

144 Daniel Patten
145 George Sewell
146 Sam Smith
147 Karl Baillie
148 Will Bjergfelt

Flamme Rouge CT (GBR)

149 Matthew Webster
150 Matthew Exley
151 Jack Steel-jessop
152 Oliver Taylor

Team PB Performance (GBR)

153 Tristan Robbins
154 George Kimber
155 Bradley Symonds
156 Joe Charley

BC Central Region RT (GBR)

157 Lawrence Carpenter
158 Henry Latimer
159 Oliver Bates
160 Max Hale

Leisure Lakes Bikes (GBR)

161 Joe Perkins
162 Elliot Harrison
163 Jonathan Hornblow
164 Andrew Magnier

Verulum-ReallyMoving.com (GBR)

165 Michael Parry
166 Luke Houghton
167 Clay Davies
168 Paul Mcgrath

TBW Bottechia Wigmore RT (GBR)

169 Daniel Nieto
170 Oliver Cliff
171 James Ambrose-parish
172 Fabian Horrocks

Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic 2016
The 2016 CiCLE Classic by Andrew

OVB (GBR)

173 Michael Burke
174 Andrew Brinkley
175 Josh Rowe
176 Steve Tait

Cycle Team On Form (GBR)

177 Oliver Jones
178 Buauna Ball
179 Tom Elwood
180 Jamie Wimborne

Cycling Sheffield. (GBR)

181 Jake Tanner
182 Charlie Renshaw
183 Harry Yates
184 Louis Szymansko

Welsh National Academy Team (GBR)

185 Zachary May
186 William Roberts
187 Daniel Coombe
188 Peter Kibble

RAF Cycling Assoc. (GBR)

189 Anthony Richardson
190 Ian Lee
191 Daniel Watts
192 Ryan Morley


Past blogs on the race

In the past we have had some great features on the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic and the riders who race it, why not check them out below to get you in the mood for Sunday?

1. A CLASSIC LOVE AFFAIR - THE PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE WITH COLIN CLEWS

Colin Clews

Colin Clews by Andrew Peat

2. RACE REPORT - 2016 RUTLAND-MELTON INTERNATIONAL CICLE CLASSIC

Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic 2016

CiCLE Classic by Andrew

3. MR DAN FLEEMAN ON RACING, ESCAPING & THE ART OF TRANQUILO

Dan Fleeman

Dan Fleeman by Andrew Peat

4. INTERVIEW: RACING CAPTAIN RYAN

Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry by Shawn M Ryan

5. DEFINITELY HAPPY: TOMS SKUJINS ON A LIFE ARGYLE

Tom Skujins

Tom Skujins by Laura Fletcher - Cassette Media
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About the Rider: Anne
Anne’s unique selling points are her super-strong thumbs (a hangover from her days fitting Marathon Plus tyres) and her enthusiasm for cake (both baking and eating). When not sorting out returns, writing for the website or delving into complex customer questions, you’ll find her fixing up friends’ bikes or enjoying the ride.
@alwaysriding
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