Melton to lead the way as Women's CiCLE Classic will be Britain's first major race since lockdown was eased

Action - plus Junior Men's race - to be staged on June 27...

Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:01 pm
The women's CiCLE Classic is returning. Photo: Tim Williams

Melton Mowbray is preparing to stage the first major cycle races to take place in Britain as lockdown is lifted.

Following a near 18-months cessation of cycle racing on the open roads of Britain owing to the COVID 19 pandemic, the green light has been given to plans for the prestigious Elite Women’s CiCLE Classic race along with its accompanying Junior Men’s race to take place on Sunday, June 27.

“With the forced cancellation of the International Elite Men’s Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic in April for a second year, we are delighted British Cycling has shown confidence in our organisation to allow the Women’s and Junior Men’s races to go ahead so soon after lockdown has hopefully been lifted,” said race director Colin Clews.

"Having only been held four times to date, the Women’s CiCLE Classic has already gained an enviable reputation with three of those editions having been won by either a reigning World or Olympic champion.

"As such it is considered a highlight of the UK Women’s calendar and with so little racing to date, we are expecting a particularly strong and competitive entry to both that and the accompanying Junior Men’s race.”

Both races which start and finish in Melton’s town centre form part of British Cycling’s National road race series for their respective categories.

With lockdown restrictions currently expected to be lifted on June 21, the two CiCLE Classics will be the first National level races to take place in Britain this year, although several smaller trial events under continued COVID protocols will have taken place by that time.

Both events have already been the subject of significant consultation with sponsors and partners and remain dependent upon the Government roadmap continuing in a favourable direction.

In accordance with the resumption of other sports over the coming months, both races, and all those participating and spectating will continue to be subject to stringent protocols and controls to ensure that the current Government advice and guidance pertaining at that time are followed.

Speaking for British Cycling, head of sport and major events, Jonathan Day, said: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Colin and the wider Women’s and Junior men’s CiCLE Classic organising team for all of their efforts to ensure that this year’s event goes ahead, despite the continued uncertainty of Covid-19."