CiCLE Classic chief rues lack of TV coverage after ‘best-ever’ racing

CiCLE Classic race director Colin Clews EMN-170401-173150002
CiCLE Classic race director Colin Clews EMN-170401-173150002
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CiCLE Classic race director Colin Clews believes TV audiences missed out on what he described as the best racing in the event’s 13-year history on Sunday.

Highlights of last year’s edition were broadcast on Sky Sports, Eurosport and Channel 4 after fans and organisers raised around £15,000 to pay for the coverage.

Fleeman with McCormick and third-placed Brenton Jones EMN-170424-085202002

Fleeman with McCormick and third-placed Brenton Jones EMN-170424-085202002

But its failure to land major sponsorship and attract broadcasters meant the TV cameras were missing this year.

“We are having talks with an organisational group who can help us with marketing and acquiring TV on a lasting basis,” said Clews.

“We had an event yesterday that would have been out of this world for television.

“People say we are so far ahead of any other race in the country and we have done it right here in Melton with fairly limited resources.

“It makes you very proud that our team has been able to achieve that in this country.”

Clews, from Wymondham, has grown the event rapidly into one of only five races in Britain recognised on the international calendar since its inception in 2005.

But instead of sitting on their laurels, organisers pushed through further changes this year, with three new special sectors along an extended route.

And their impact was immediate with Fleeman making the race-defining move at the final off-road sector at Stapleford Park.

“The racing was the best that we have ever seen,” Clews added. “It was ebbing and flowing all the time, and really came down to the wire.

“The new course was partly responsible for that and what was added in really chopped the race up early on.

“Of all the sectors the riders said Stapleford really made the impact because it was so late in the race when the legs were tiring.

“It was absolutely tremendous; we really pushed up the quality of the event.”

And the race director was delighted with the crowds as the sunshine helped bring out bigger numbers than ever.

“The crowds out at Owston were fantastic,” he said. “In general they were much heavier than normal all along the route, particularly when Dan came in at the finish.

“I don’t think any of us could be happier for Andy and Dan; it was a fairytale ending.

“Ourselves and Metaltek are very much a similar entity; we both achieve an awful lot on limited resources.”