Women’s CiCLE Classic: Melton set to host ‘toughest race of the year’

Riders stream through Owston during April's Rutland- Melton CiCLE Classic. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-160629-085740002
Riders stream through Owston during April's Rutland- Melton CiCLE Classic. Photo: Alan Walters EMN-160629-085740002
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The inaugural Women’s CiCLE Classic heads to Melton next month and promises to be the toughest women’s race of the year.

The race, which takes place on Sunday, July 17, boasts a £1,000 first prize, equalling the top prize at the men’s and women’s national championships.

The event starts and finishes in Sherrard Street, in Melton, and will cover a 95km course, using many of the toughest sections of the infamous men’s international race.

It will take in five passages of Owston village, the heart of the CiCLE Classic, as well as two passages of the dreaded Somerberg off-road section, near Somerby.

The ascent of Cold Overton Hill will form the first climb of the Queen of the Hills competition which will also take in Burrough Hill and Cuckoo Hill.

The event starts at noon from Sherrard Street and like the International CiCLE Classic will also include a 15km finishing circuit after the field has crossed the line for the first time. The finish proper is expected at around 2.35pm.

Peter Stanton, a big supporter of women’s racing, has sponsored the new event which aims to reflect the toughness and character of a men’s race.

”From the outset, we have aimed to make the Women’s CiCLE Classic a replica in quality and presentation of its international big brother,” said race director Colin Clews.

“But also to do so without making the usual concessions that are made by promoters to the fairer sex.

“We wanted to provide British women racers with an event that tests them to the extreme, and replicates the cut and thrust of Continental racing, something that only the CiCLE Classic can offer.”

An added attraction will be the Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge Sportives for all-comers, men and women. They start earlier in the day from Melton and end at the same town centre finishing point as used later by the big race.

The courses for each of the sportives will also cover many of the roads covered by the women, including the off-road sections of Somerberg and Owston.

* Entries for both the Women’s CiCLE Classic and Dare2b Melton CiCLE Challenge sportives remain open and are available via the British Cycling online entry system.