Melton’s own semi-pro team Metaltek Kuota team have always enjoyed ruffling a few feathers among the big budget teams at their home race over the last eight years.
A hatful of top 10 finishes in this most unpredictable race is testimony to the planning they put into the race as well as the skill and team ethic within Metaltek.
Directeur sportif Colin Sturgess, the former world individual pursuit champion, has a great deal of faith in his team.
“I believe that if the team race as aggressively and intelligently as they have shown they can so far this season, we will realistically be capable of placing three or four riders in the top 15,” he said.
“With the CICLE Classic being one of only two UK races holding a UCI status, that allows the non-UCI registered teams to compete, we will be hoping to put ion a good show for the locals and mop up some UCI points in the process.”
Their six-man squad will be led in 2017 by road captain Dan Fleeman who has a hat-trick of top 10 finishes in Melton.
This treble includes a ninth-place finish last year, despite having channelled most of his energies into supporting the team’s chief hope Zach May for virtually all of the race.
But the strategy went out of the window when May, a winner of two national track championship medals this year, crashed out on the final sector when well-placed.
Despite going up against the UK big guns as well as top Continental outfits, there is at last one voice within the Metaltek camp who believes a maiden win is within their grasp.
“We were unlucky last year,” said team owner Andy Swain. “We were riding for Zach and he was floating.
“The lads kept him out of thee wind and he felt really good. He would definitely have been top five.
“It would be nice to see Plan A come to fruition this year! A podium would be nice; we have the potential to win it.”