Elite Women’s Cycle racing in the UK returns, and it’s all in Melton Mowbray.
With just over two weeks to go before top flight Elite Women’s cycle racing returns to the UK post COVID 19, the 5th edition of the Women’s CiCLE Classic looks set to break all entry records with a full field of 140 already lined up for this popular event.
Marking the first National level Women’s race in the UK since 31st August 2019, after a massive 666 days absence of racing, the 27th June race looks to be the most open edition of the race ever. Rebecca Durrell, the race’s first ever winner back in 2016 will appropriately wear race number ONE as the race renews. The true form of so many of Britain’s top and aspiring Women riders representing all the top teams remains an unknown quantity, and the winner could come from almost any of the 140 riders who will take the start.
Whilst the winner will take the mammoth £1000 first prize on offer, they will also have the honour of wearing for the British Cycling National Women’s series leaders jersey for the next event in the curtailed series that circumstances have forced upon the sport this year.
“The popularity of the Women’s CiCLE Classic has been apparent since our first race in 2016, but the enthusiasm to race amongst both the Women and Junior men who will race over the same course earlier in the day, has been phenomenal this year,” said Race Director Colin Clews. He continued,” With so much hesitation about ‘getting back to normal’ we are delighted that the communities through which our races pass, such as Melton, Somerby and Owston, the real ‘heart’ of the race have welcomed the race back so openly. We feel confident that with the adoption of safe protocols for all those taking part and spectating, as demonstrated by other major sports already in advance of cycling, we can safely provide the opportunities for Britain’s Elite Women cyclists to lead the way in their sport”.
It will still be some weeks before a similar Men’s national level event in Britain will take place.
Taking in its usual 105 kilometre course traversing the challenging and undulating on and off road sectors that the CiCLE Classics have become famous the Women’s race will start at 14.00 from Melton’s Sherrard Street, with the race leaders expected to return to the town for its initial passage of the finish line at around 16.00 hours where riders will compete for the Melton town prize of a massive pork Pie courtesy once again of Dickinson & Morris. But the major award of £1000 and a magnum of Duvel Belgian beer will await the final winner some 15 kilometres later as the race returns for the final sprint to the line.
Earlier in the day Britain’s aspiring Junior Men will ride the same course starting at 9.30 and finishing in Melton town centre around 12.30. With many taking part never having had the experience of competing in a national level race for their category and age group owing to the COVID 19 lockdowns, that race also presents a very open race to attempt to predict.
The day prior to the races, on Saturday 26th June the rescheduled Rutland CiCLE Tour will also be staged for ‘all comers’ to test themselves over the roads the professional Women will compete the following day. Featuring Feed stops at Owston Village hall, and the Berkeley Arms public house in Wymondham along their routes it is clear that many entrants to the latter are using the event as their chance to renew their love of cycling socially around the delightful Rutland and East Leicestershire countryside after so much restriction. Entries are still available for the CiCLE Tour at http://www.velo29/events.
Once again the Women’s race is sponsored by a private individual, Peter Stanton and supported by Melton BID, Schwalbe (Tyres) UK, Duvel UK, Bioracer cycling clothing and on this occasion the race signs are sponsored by Moores Estate Agents.
Colin Clews, Race Director, CiCLE Classics.