Thousands of people are expected to gather in Melton town centre on Sunday afternoon to enjoy the climax of the 14th edition of the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic.
It is always a thrilling spectacle as top cyclists sprint to the finish line along Sherrard Street, with 36 teams competing this year and riders from 25 different nations.
The field sets off from Oakham town centre in the morning and the leading competitors are expected in Melton shortly before 4pm.
It’s a great family day out with entertainment and refreshments served in the town centre and many traders will be staying open to tke advantage of the extra footfall.
if you are planning on coming to watch on Sunday the organisers have issued the following advice: “Please allow plenty of time to get from one point to another and be prepared to encounter the road closures which will apply as soon as the race approaches and will apply until the last of the ‘effective’ race passes.
“Also, please remember to park your cars well off the road, especially if parking on any of the many narrow roads that the race uses particularly around Owston and Burrough on the Hill.
“If viewing at Owston, please use the identified car parks and always obey any instructions from race marshals.”
The Rutland–Melton CiCLE Classic was first held in 2005 and, after spending two years as a purely British domestic race, it quickly moved to international status, as a UCI class 1.2 race.
As such, it is the longest established international one-day race in Britain and also holds the record for the most competitors ever to take part in a race on British soil with around 180 riders taking to the roads of East Leicestershire and Rutland each April.
The race is unique in the UK in that it involves many off-road sections within its now 189km (117miles) course. In doing so it sets out to mimic the style and atmosphere of racing that is normally associated with the major Spring Classic one day races of Northern Europe.
Once again, the race will provide the single opportunity for riders from more lowly-ranked British teams to take on the might of both British and continental-based professional teams, offering the exciting prospect of a race featuring surprises galore.
“We have always prided ourselves at CiCLE Classic that we enable more lowly-ranked British competitors to take on foreign competition on British roads, the only event in the country doing so this year,” said race director Colin Clews.
“Seeing the riders rise to the challenge is always a satisfying time, and this year is likely to be no different than the 13 editions that have gone before.”
l Turn to the sports section where you will find a rundown on the top riders and teams competing in this year’s CICLE Classic, on pages 62 and 63.
To ensure the safety of the competitors and their support personnel, as well as that of other road users, the race will operate under formal Temporary Traffic Restriction Orders (TTRO) issued by the local authorities, and enforced by police, traffic management and the race’s own stewards.
These orders prohibit civilian traffic to enter any roadway that the race and associated convoy is passing along at any stage during its entire route.
Known as a rolling road closure, this provides for a minimum period of disruption to other road users as a result of the race.
Other specific sections of the course will also be subject to a total closure, these will be as follows:
8am to 5pm - Sherrard Street, Melton Mowbray, from its junction with Sage Cross Street to its junction with Burton Street.
9am to 12.30pm - High Street, Oakham, from its junction with Church Street and Burley Road.
10.45am to 11.45am - All inbound traffic towards Oakham from Stamford direction on the A606 will be subject to a diversion along Rutland Water South Shore via Edith Weston and Manton. Similarly, the A5003, Oakham to Manton Top road will between the same times be subject to periodic full closure.
2.30pm to 4pm - Thorpe End, Melton Mowbray and Saxby Road (B676), from Stapleford Lane to its junction with Norman Way.
Roads in the following towns and villages, which comprise the major part of the race route, will then be closed periodically and temporarily throughout the day as the competitors and their accompanying race convoy passes each section of the course:
RUTLAND - Oakham, Manton, Edith Weston, Empingham, Whitwell, Barleythorpe, Cold Overton and Langham.
LEICESTERSHIRE - Pickwell, Owston, Burrough on the Hill, Little Dalby, Stapleford, Burton Lazars, Melton.
Main Race Sponsors: Giant Sore (Rutland Water) - Joint title sponsor; Schwalbe UK (Tyres) - Joint title sponsor; Dare2b (Regatta Group) - Officials clothing supplier; Melton BID - Supporting and race finish sponsor; Melton Building Society - Top team award sponsor; Tim Norton (Ford motors) Oakham - Official race vehicle sponsor; ReallyMoving-Verulum CC - King of Bergs competition & hospitality sponsor; Duvel Belgian Beer - Official hospitality sponsor; Oakham Wines - Oakham town sprint sponsor; Dickenson & Morris - Melton Pork Pie sprint sponsor; Pearces Jewellers (Melton & Oakham) - Official race timing sponsor; Manor Farm Feeds (Owston) - Owston sprints sponsor; Grainstore Brewery (Oakham) - Special sprint award sponsor; Melton Cheeseboard - Winners cheese ward; Urban Hotel (Grantham) - Official hotel partner; Newstyle Print (Oakham) - Official Print supplier; Leics & Rutland 4x4 Response Group – Race mobile marshals; Morrisons Supermarlet (Melton) - Official water & snacks supplier; Mars (UK) - officials snacks.
Help and assistance to race organisers will also be given by Leicestershire Police, Rutland County Council, Melton Council and Leicestershire County Council, and by volunteers from both within the immediate area and nationwide.