Cycling fans are set for a second instalment of top class sport on Sunday with more world and Olympic champions set to do battle in Melton.
Top headline acts have been confirmed for both the Women’s CiCLE Classic and the Junior Men’s version, with both races to run on the same day for the first time.
Newly-crowned world omnium champion and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Katie Archibald has been added to the WNT Team roster for the second edition of the women’s classic, and will ride as a team-mate to Melton’s Bex Rimmington.
World and European junior cyclo-cross champion Tom Pidcock will top the bill in the fourth Junior CiCLE Classic earlier in the day.
The exciting 17-year-old prospect is in top form having won the junior Paris-Roubaix in April, and the Durham leg of the men’s Tour Series last week.
A full field of 120 will take the start line in Sherrard Street for the Junior Classic, which sets off at 9.30am and is expected to finish at around 12.15pm. More than 60 other entries were turned away.
And 116 will line up in the women’s race which features as a round of British Cycling’s HSBC Women’s National road race series.
“In our first women’s race in 2016, just 62 riders took the start, but the interest in this year’s race has been tremendous,” said race director Colin Clews.
“The faith placed in our ability to present a race worthy of classic status in the Women’s National programme by race sponsor Peter Stanton has been backed by the support from competitors who recognise our different type of race.”
In 2016 only 13 survived the arduous 95km route which starts and finishes in Melton town centre, but this has only added to the event’s popularity with a top class field containing all of Britain’s major professional women’s squads.
“Last year many teams were committed elsewhere, but this year all are here in force and the competition will be a lot fiercer,” added Clews.
Last year’s winner Rebecca Durell (Drops Cycling) wears number one, but she will face a strong challenge to her crown from Archibald and the likes of Wiggle High 5’s Grace Garner.
The race starts in Sherrard Street at 2pm and will follow many of the roads used by the international men’s race, with Owston village again featuring strongly with five passages.
Both races will encounter six special off-road sectors, including two passages of the notorious Somerberg sector, with the addition of Sawgate after recent repairs.
It will form part of the 15km finishing circuit via Stapleford and Saxby Road before reaching Melton for the first time, where the leading riders will contest the Melton Town Sprint, sponsored by Dickinson and Morris.
They will return 25 minutes later to contest the final sprint back in Sherrard Street at around 5pm.
Vehicle sponsorship will be provided by Tim Norton Motors (Ford) of Oakham, while TimeFix of Melton will again sponsor the lead timing car and Flower Paradise, the winners’ bouquets.