Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic race director Colin Clews has said confirmation of the race’s TV debut has realised his ambition to put the area on the map.
As revealed in last week’s Melton Times, Channel 4 will broadcast a one-hour highlights programme on Saturday, May 7 before releasing footage of the race to international satellite channels.
Around 35 teams and 200 professional cyclists from across Europe and the world will line up in the Classic on Sunday, April 24.
Clews said: “The developments in recent weeks have been absolutely great for the race, and also for Rutland and Melton.
“We set out to put the area on the national and international sporting map, and over the past 12 years we believe we have achieved that.
“The terrestrial TV coverage can only enhance the race further and showcase what we have to offer as a region.”
News got even better this week when race organisers received final confirmation from the ONE Pro cycling team, founded by former England cricketer Matt Prior, that they will use the Classic as their first British race of 2016.
The team, newly elevated to UCI Pro Continental level, have performed with early season distinction in Australia and Malaysia.
Clews added: “We are delighted they have such a high regard for the CiCLE Classic that they wish to use it to show themselves to their British fanbase, when they could have attended other more established races in Europe.”
The Raleigh-GAC squad have already named Sebastian Mora in their squad to tackle the notorious 184km course just weeks after the Spaniard became the scratch race world champion at the UCI World Track Championships, in London.
This year will also mark the introduction of a new Women’s CiCLE Classic on Sunday, July 17 with more than 60 entries already received.
The race came about thanks to the personal sponsorship from Pete Stanton, a long-standing fan of women’s cycling.
The latest addition to the Classic stable was given a further boost by local motor dealership Sandicliffe who will provide the official race vehicles.
A non-competitive all-comers event, the Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge, will also be held on July 17.