Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic: Riders to watch

Zach May (second from left) sprints to fifth place behind race winner Chris Latham Picture: Larry Hickmott EMN-170504-161617002
Zach May (second from left) sprints to fifth place behind race winner Chris Latham Picture: Larry Hickmott EMN-170504-161617002
0
Have your say

The Classic has built up an impressive alumni of riders in its 13 editions, most famously, world champions and Tour de France titans Mark Cavendish (2007) and Peter Sagan (2009) in their formative years.

This year’s field is also sprinkled with Olympic, world and British champions, as well as some top overseas talent and perhaps, the next Sagan and Cavendish.

Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy negotiates one of the Classic's tough tracks
PHOTO: Chris Meads Photography EMN-170418-124722002

Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy negotiates one of the Classic's tough tracks PHOTO: Chris Meads Photography EMN-170418-124722002

Team Wiggins rider Chris Latham is in excellent form having last week won bronze at the world track championships, as well as the opening round of the British Cycling’s Spring Cup on the road earlier this month. He finished third in Melton last time round.

JLT-Condor are one of the big established names and include three-time Olympic track champion Ed Clancy and former British road champion Russell Downing in their six-man squad, as well as 2014 Classic winner Tom Moses.

Reigning world scratch race champion Sebastian Mora, from Spain, rides for Raleigh-GAC, while ONE Pro Cycling field former world points champion Karel Domagalski and ex-British road champion Kristian House, as well as 2015 winner Steele von Hoff, from New Zealand.

Last year’s runner-up Gruffudd Lewis returns for another crack with Madison-Genesis who also boast Frenchman Alex Blain, winner of the infamous 2012 race of flash floods and -2c windchill which decimated the field.

Another British team to look out for is Bike Channel-Canyon whose squad have several wins in early season races.

The East Midlands team will bear the name of the race’s chosen charity, Mount Group Riding for the Disabled, and include regular Classic front-runner Yanto Barker.

There is, as ever, a strong overseas contingent aiming to spoil the party including French teams Aseg Douai and CC Villeneuve/St Germain who hail from the famous Paris-Roubaix territory.

Top Dutch teams WPG Amsterdam and Monkey Town, line up alongside Spanish squads Guerciotti-Redondella and Dare-Viator-Partizan.

Former Tour de France points champion Sean Kelly sends his An Post-Chain Reaction,into the fray, while the 180-rider field also includes a UCI Continental team, Start from Argentina.